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Signature Theatre Company’s Angels in America in the news

SIGNATURE THEATRE COMPANY’S PRODUCTION OF

TONY KUSHNER’S

ANGELS IN AMERICA

IN THE NEWS

PRODUCTION FEATURED IN NEWSWEEK AND NEW YORK MAGAZINE

Signature Theatre Company’s (Founding Artistic Director James Houghton; Executive Director Erika Mallin) production of Tony Kushner’s ANGELS IN AMERICA: A Gay Fantasia on National Themes, is now in performance at The Peter Norton Space (555 West 42nd Street).  The first New York revival of Kushner’s Tony Award and Pulitzer Prize-winning play is directed by Michael Greif. The production, originally slated to run through December 19, has been extended a second time through February 20, 2011.

Signature Theatre Company’s Tony Kushner season is in the news as ANGELS IN AMERICA prepares for its opening night on Thursday, October 28:

The Intelligent Homosexual’s Guide to Himself

By Jesse Green

New York Magazine

October 25, 2010

Of the 100 or so books Tony Kushner lugged to Provincetown for a four-week holiday this summer, about the trashiest was The Oxford Book of Death. He gestured toward it on a bookshelf in the penitentially furnished guest bedroom he was using as an office. “Do you know Gramsci’s Prison Notebooks?” he asked, petting another spine. Also handy were The Theory of Revolution in the Young Marx; Dionysius the Pseudo-Areopagite; treatises on suicide, Lenin, longshoremen, Horace, red-diaper babies, and probabilism.

Even Brecht, his hero, read detective novels for pleasure, but if you’re Tony Kushner, to whom everything is a dialectic, your concept of vacation will challenge your concept of vocation, and lose. Or something very different from either will emerge: a weird amalgam of cooking, board games, procrastination, paralysis, and the fear, often realized, of disappointing others. For Kushner, the conflict between being a good person and enjoying life—between the community and the individual or, if you like, between socialism and capitalism—is not an abstraction. His 1994 play Slavs! bears the subtitle Thinking About the Longstanding Problems of Virtue and Happiness, and he really does think about them constantly. In the bathroom of a previous house, in upstate New York, he installed subway tile that spelled out WE ENJOY BEING IN THE OPEN COUNTRYSIDE SO MUCH BECAUSE IT HAS NO OPINION CONCERNING US. A touch of ego-deflating Nietzsche in the shower is very Tony Kushner.

So is renting a gorgeous home on Commercial Street and then fretting, in the back, over revisions of a new play about the problem of economic justice in America. (Hence the books.) Officially and with characteristic exuberance called The Intelligent Homosexual’s Guide to Capitalism and Socialism With a Key to the Scriptures, it had its premiere at the Guthrie Theater in Minneapolis last year and will begin performances at the Public Theater in March, in a co-production with the Signature Theatre. At the Signature, the new play is a tent pole of its hagiographic Tony Kushner season, which begins next week with the first major New York revival of Angels in America and concludes with The Illusion, his 1988 Corneille adaptation, in April. Though the Signature has devoted seasons to playwrights who were younger than Kushner (he’s 54), it has never devoted so much money: Angels alone, says artistic director James Houghton, is “the largest project we’ve ever worked on.”

To read the complete article, click on the following link:

http://nymag.com/arts/theater/profiles/68994/

The Second Coming

‘Angels in America’ hit Broadway so hard in 1993, it left the theater world stunned.

In our gay-friendlier times, the play can’t possibly have the same impact, can it?

By Linda Hirshman

Newsweek

October 25, 2010

(Page 1 of 2)

When the revival of Angels in America was announced a few months ago, there was talk of it being an artifact from a remote and different time. After all, AIDS isn’t a death sentence any longer, and gay rights have progressed to the point where playwright Tony Kushner’s own wedding, in 2003, was the first gay ceremony officially announced by The New York Times. But that was then, before two young men brutally beat a gay patron in the bathroom at … the Stonewall Inn. Before Rutgers freshman Tyler Clementi jumped off the George Washington Bridge amid an alarming number of gay suicides. Before a New York gubernatorial candidate said that children were being “brainwashed” into thinking that homosexuality was an “equally valid and successful option” and before the back-and-forth over “don’t ask, don’t tell” portended a robust conservatism poised to dominate the next election. Angels may one day be a classic like A Doll’s House—still relevant, although much of the political message is old news—but not yet. On every level, Angels has work left to do.

To read the complete article, click on the following link:

http://www.newsweek.com/2010/10/14/can-angels-in-america-soar-again.html

Millennium Approaches and Perestroika, the two parts of ANGELS IN AMERICA, are alternating in repertory.

Tickets for performances through December 19, 2010 are available for $20 through The Signature Ticket Initiative, which seeks to make great theatre accessible to the broadest possible audience. All regularly-priced single tickets ($85) are underwritten and will be available for $20 for every performance at The Peter Norton Space for the entire season, during a show’s initial run.

The Signature Ticket Initiative is made possible by the lead sponsorship of Time Warner Inc.  Generous support for The Signature Ticket Initiative is provided by Margot Adams, in memory of Mason Adams

Tickets for performances beginning December 21, 2010 will be $85. For the full performance calendar, to purchase tickets or for more information, please visit http://signaturetheatre.org/angels or call (212) 244-PLAY (7529).

ANGELS IN AMERICA features Robin Bartlett as Hannah Pitt, Christian Borle as Prior Walter, Bill Heck as Joe Pitt, Zoe Kazan as Harper Pitt, Billy Porter as Belize, Zachary Quinto as Louis Ironson, Robin Weigert as The Angel and Frank Wood as Roy Cohn, with Eric Bryant as Man 1 and Hubert Point-Du Jour as Man 2.

Scenic design is by Mark Wendland, costume design by Clint Ramos, lighting design by Ben Stanton, sound design by Ken Travis, projection design by Wendall K. Harrington, music by Michael Friedman and Chris Miller, hair and wig design by Charles Lapointe, dialect coaching by Deborah Hecht, fight direction by Rick Sordelet, aerial design by Paul Rubin, and make-up by Cookie Jordan.  Production Stage Manager is Monica Cuoco and Stage Manager is Joshua Pilote.

The production of ANGELS IN AMERICA is made possible by a major grant from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.

 

Signature Theatre Company’s 20th Anniversary season celebrating Tony Kushner also features the New York premiere of iHo: THE INTELLIGENT HOMOSEXUAL’S GUIDE TO CAPITALISM AND SOCIALISM WITH A KEY TO THE SCRIPTURES, also directed by Michael Greif and co-produced with The Public Theater in association with the Guthrie Theater; and THE ILLUSION, Kushner’s freely adapted version of Pierre Corneille’s L’Illusion Comique, directed by Tony Award-winner Michael Mayer.

The season will also include readings of selected other plays from Tony Kushner’s body of work. Plays under consideration include A BRIGHT ROOM CALLED DAY, TINY KUSHNER (A NEW COLLECTION OF ONE ACTS), IT’S AN UNDOING WORLD, OR WHY SHOULD IT BE EASY WHEN IT CAN BE HARD?, THE HENRY BOX BROWN PLAYHYDRIOTAPHIA, OR THE DEATH OF DR. BROWNE and HOMEBODY/KABUL.

Signature Theatre Company, founded in 1991 by James Houghton, exists to honor and celebrate the playwright. Signature makes an extended commitment to a playwright’s body of work and during this journey, the writer is engaged in every aspect of the creative process. Signature is the first theatre company to devote an entire season to the work of a single playwright, including re-examinations of past writings as well as New York and world premieres. By championing in-depth explorations of a living playwright’s body of work, the Company delivers an intimate and immersive journey into the playwright’s singular vision.

Signature remains deeply committed to season-long residencies and during the company’s tenth and fifteenth anniversaries, Signature introduced the Legacy Program. The Legacy Program invites past Playwrights-in-Residence back to Signature through two series: the Signature Series, which presents “signature,” or more well-known works; and the Premiere Series, which presents New York and world premieres. Since 2005, Signature has been committed to presenting world-class theatre at an affordable price through The Signature Ticket Initiative, which will offer subsidized $20 tickets through the Company’s twentieth anniversary season in 2011.

In October of 2008, Signature announced the creation of the SIGNATURE CENTER, a permanent home to open in late 2011. Designed by Frank Gehry Architects, the Center will comprise three theatres, two rehearsal studios, a café, bookstore, and offices all on one level – a configuration that allows the company not only the space to expand its programming, but also the proximity for natural interaction between artists and audiences of the different programs. In its new home, Signature will continue its Master Playwrights Residency and expand the Legacy Program. Signature will also introduce an Emerging Playwrights Residency that will feature early- and mid-career playwrights and guarantee them three full productions over the course of a four-year residency. This groundbreaking facility will offer a vital presence on West 42nd Street and will make it possible for Signature to collaborate with playwrights throughout the entire trajectory of their careers. For more information please visit signaturecenter.org.

TICKETS

Tickets for performances through December 19, 2010 are available for $20 through The Signature Ticket Initiative, which seeks to make great theatre accessible to the broadest possible audience. All regularly-priced single tickets ($85) are underwritten and will be available for $20 for every performance at The Peter Norton Space for the entire season, during a show’s initial run.

The Signature Ticket Initiative is made possible by the lead sponsorship of Time Warner Inc.  Generous support for The Signature Ticket Initiative is provided by Margot Adams, in memory of Mason Adams.

Tickets for all performances beginning December 21, 2010 are $85. For the full performance calendar, to purchase tickets or for more information, please visit http://signaturetheatre.org/angels or call (212) 244-PLAY (7529).

ANGELS IN AMERICA plays:

Tuesday-Friday at 7:30 PM

Saturday at 2:00 PM and 8:00 PM

Sunday at 2:00 PM and 7:30 PM

 

Please visit http://www.signaturetheatre.org/angels for the full performance calendar.

ANGELS IN AMERICA plays at The Peter Norton Space located at 555 West 42nd Street (between 10th and 11th Avenues).  For more information or to purchase tickets, please visit www.signaturetheatre.org or call (212) 244-PLAY (7529).

 

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