An all-star digital performance of scenes from Tony Kushner’s Angels in America, benefiting amFAR’s COVID-19 fund, will feature Glenn Close as Roy Cohn, with other roles from the Pulitzer Prize-winning play performed by, among others, Laura Linney, Patti LuPone, S. Epatha Merkerson, Brian Tyree Henry, Paul Dano, Andrew Rannells and Slave Play playwright Jeremy O. Harris.
The 60-minute livestream benefit for the Foundation for AIDS Research (amfAR) Fund to Fight Covid-19 and titled The Great Work Begins: Scenes from ‘Angels in America’, will feature seven scenes selected for their focus on the experience of living through a plague, according to amFAR. The free event – made up of self-filmed performances woven together – will stream Thursday Oct. 8 at 8:30 pm ET on the Broadway.com YouTube channel.
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A donation of $100 or more will provide access to a 45-minute live conversation immediately following the performance, featuring Kushner, several cast members, director Ellie Heyman, amFAR CEO Kevin Robert Frost, and moderator Paul Wontorek of Broadway.com.
“I’m touched and honored that amfAR and the remarkable Ellie Heyman decided to build this evening around Angels,” said Kushner. “For over thirty years, amfAR has been steadfastly determined to find a cure for AIDS. Like everyone else on the planet (except maybe some people), I’m praying that the novel coronavirus will prove easier to obliterate than HIV. But I know we’ll all do whatever’s required to defeat this scourge, and I know that amfAR, as it always has been, will be there in the heat of battle with us. So, to everyone involved, and to everyone who watches the broadcast and decides to donate, thanks for supporting this heroic, essential American institution!“
Some of the Angels characters will be played by more than one performer: Henry, Dano and Rannells will perform scenes as Prior Walter; Harris, Merkerson and Larry Owens as Belize; Lois Smith and Vella Lovell as Harper Pitt; Linney as Hannah Pitt; and, as the various angels, LuPone, Linda Emond, Nikki M. James and Daphne Rubin-Vega. Brandon Uranowitz will play Louis Ironson, and Alan Cumming, Whoopi Goldberg and Jake Gyllenhaal will participate in interstitial moments throughout the production.
Also participating are composer Ellis Ludwig-Leone and production designer Paul Tate dePoo III.
AmFAR’s Frost said in a statement, “Angels is an intensely personal work that is so much more than just an AIDS play and, in this time of COVID and national unrest, its themes of racism and government failings make it as relevant and resonant today as it was when it was first performed 30 years ago.”
Watch a teaser trailer for The Great Work Begins: Scenes from ‘Angels in America’ above.
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