Monday, October 15, 2007

ANGELS IN AMERICA - Part II: Perestroika at City Lights

There's one more weekend left for you to see ANGELS IN AMERICA - Part II: Perestroika at City Lights Theatre Company in San Jose. The show which runs through this Sunday (Oct. 21), is directed by Kit Wilder and performed by a multi-talented cast of actors. City Lights has really done something spectacular here. They have tackled one of the most challenging plays of the 1980s. The play, written by Tony Kushner is the second of half of a story that City Lights performed last season. In ANGELS IN AMERICA - PART I Kushner pushed the envelope and City Lights took his text and created a wonderful production. But in PART II, City Lights pushed the envelope in a way that Wilder is apt to do and has succeeded beyond all expectations. First of all the set, a mish-mash of boards and boxes and cardboard is immediately recognizable to the Bay Area native as one of the many homeless camps in San Francisco or San Jose. The play constantly makes reference to the beauty of San Francisco and that heaven will resemble San Francisco. The contrast the words produce against the actual stage setting is a constant reminder of how we humans, faced with death and fear can idealize reality in order to keep going, to keep moving toward the positive. Gemma Beddo Barozzi as the angel is absolutely beautiful. Normally the angel in this play is portrayed as a balding kemo beaten anemic. But in Wilder's staging Gemma (one of the most perfect looking people on Earth) is portrayed as a beautiful Marilyn Monroe-esque sex kitten and the image works. Her sexiness reminds us constantly of how AIDS has taken away the life force - the sexuality - of Prior in a profound and saddening way. She becomes for him his destroyed libido and his mother-figure all at once.

Kevin Kirby is just fantastic as Roy Cohen, the malevolent lawyer, dieing an awful and painful death at the hands of AIDS. If you have ever seen the HBO version of the show. Al Pacino is fantastic in the role. Kirby takes some of his performance from Pacino's portrayal but makes it totally his own. The energy and hatefulness mixed with abject fear and helplessness that Kirby gives us is disturbing and amazing.

Tomas Theriot as Prior Walter gives a very authentic and painfully realistic performance. His understanding of the character and his sardonic wit are saddening and wonderful. Jeff Clarke as Joe Pitt plays his part with tremendous sensitivity and courage. The entire cast is wonderful and includes Jason Arias, Julianne Arnall, Gemma Beddo Barozzi, Jeff Clarke, Lance Gardner, Kevin Kirby, Shareen Merriam and Tomas Theriot.


By Tony Kushner
Directed by Kit Wilder
September 20-October 21, 2007
The conclusion of Kushner's saga of sex, love, religion, and politics in the mid 1980s, Perestroika is, like Part One, a testament to the human spirit. Challenging and uncompromising, the play has been widely heralded as a masterpiece for the ages, a celebration of the power of love and understanding to heal both body and soul.
For mature audiences: language, violence and sexuality.

Jason Arias, Julianne Arnall, Gemma Beddo Barozzi, Jeff Clarke, Lance Gardner, Kevin Kirby, Shareen Merriam and Tomas Theriot

Read a synopsis of Part One.

Read the San Jose Mercury News review

Read the Metro review
Read the San Jose Mercury News feature
Take an audio slideshow tour

September 20-October 21, 2007

Thursdays, Fridays, Saturdays at 8pm
Sunday Sept. 30 and Oct. 7 at 7pm
Sunday Oct. 14 and 21 at 2pm

$30 GN/ $25 SR/ $15 ST & ED
$40 Saturday Opening Night Gala Sept. 22
$25 Fridy Preview Night Sept. 21
Group rates and subscriptions available!

Click here to buy tickets now
Or call the Box Office at 408-295-4200

No comments:

Post a Comment