'Angels' soars into Tucson this weekend

Andrew Coan

Arizona Daily Wildcat

Good theater is hard to find, so it is a real coup to

live in Tucson with such an excellent and eclectic

range of performing companies. However, once in a while a theater production comes to town that is as worthy of notice as anything the hometown team can dish out. "Angels in America," making it's debut in the Southwest for the first time, is one of these productions.

"Angels" is a two-part, quasi-mystical, heavy journey through the lives of Walter Prior and Roy Cohn. The first part is called "Millennium Approaches" and deals with a mystical Angel of Death who appears to the AIDS stricken hero Walter Prior. Roy Cohn (Best known for his role in bringing the evil Joseph McCarthy to power in the 50's) tries to court his Mormon aide to enter with him into his twisted schemes. Cohn contracts the AIDS virus as well.

In Part Two of "Angels," named "Perestroika," Roy Cohn's enemies try to have him disbarred. His Mormon aide, unaware of the fact that Walter Prior has AIDS, enters into a tryst with a former lover of Prior's. The mystical angel tells Prior of his celestial mission.

It should be noted that the two parts are done on different nights, and while you can see both parts, they do stand on their own.

While this play does stress the crisis of the AIDS epidemic that is sweeping across America, the study guide, which accompanies the play for use by school groups, stresses that, ". this is not a play about AIDS the way earlier works like Larry Kramer's "The Normal Heart" or William Hoffman's "As Is." Rather, AIDS is a central part of the universe in which "Angels" takes place. AIDS is a condition of that world, as much as gravity, humor, love and loss."

Broadway does not come to Tucson every day, but it does with the Tony award winning "Angels." So if you think you can handle what promises to be a mind bending experience, then "Angels in America" is something you just might like.

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