Thursday, March 8, 2018

Thursday Night in Brooklyn Heights: "The World Only Spins Forward: The Ascent of Angels in America" at the Brooklyn Historical Society

(Video courtesy Brooklyn Historical Society)
We saw Angels in America on Broadway at a Wednesday and Saturday matinee in early May 1994. At the time we were living in Gainesville, Florida. Having taken our only final on the first day of exams at the University of Florida Law School (our other courses required only papers), we had two weeks before graduation and were staying at a friend's apartment on the Upper West Side.

We just walked up to the box office and paid $20 each for the cheapest seats available on these matinee days. The play was an incredible experience, probably our most profound experience in the theater. Most of the original Broadway cast were still playing their parts, although on Saturday, there were two understudies for Jeffrey Wright and Joe Mantello. (We actually knew the understudies from soap operas.)

We still have very clear moments from the play in our head. Weirdly, the next day, we were doing laundry in the basement of our friend's apartment, and David Marshall Grant, who played Joe, was doing his laundry at the same time. It seemed . . . natural. Back in Florida, we read the play in the paperback edition.

Tonight's panel brought back many memories of this wonderful play by Tony Kushner.

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