Angels In America Parts 1 & 2
PlayMakers Repertory Company
Chapel Hill, NC
It's a play everyone should see. And they should see it in PlayMakers Repertory Company's brilliant and riveting production. The 6 1/2-hour, two-part work is unquestionably Shakespearean, achieving levels of epic scope, poetic philosophizing and character complexity, as well as Bard-like comic heights and tragic depths. Director Brendon Fox has the vision for the work's sprawling scale, knitting together gritty, everyday scenes with vivid, imaginary realms through tight pacing and fluid transitions.
Raleigh News and Observer
"Angels In America Soars at PlayMakers"
These eyebrow-raising plays are truly magnificent pieces of contemporary theater; and a luminous PRC cast and brilliant PlayMakers' guest director Brendon Fox and his unusually imaginative and resourceful creative team have nailed it (pun intended) on scenic designer Narelle Sissons' splendid wood-paneled set, which is chock-full of secret compartments, surprises, and delights. Guest director Brendon Fox, who previously staged a warmly applauded production of Michael Hollinger's classical-music backstage drama Opus for PlayMakers Rep in the Fall of 2009, once again works his theatrical magic with Angels in America. Fox and scenic designer Narelle Sissons, lighting designer Pat Collins, costume designer extraordinaire Jan Chambers, and sound designer/engineer Ryan J. Gastelum have mounted eye- and ear-pleasing presentations of Part One: Millennium Approaches and Part Two: Perestroika that PRC audiences will not soon forget. Moreover, the charismatic cast has created a host of truly unforgettable characters who, together, put a human face on the earliest victims of the AIDS plague and their loved ones and caretakers. Bravo!
Triangle Theatre Review
Tony Kushner's stunningly original diptych is currently being given extraordinary life at PlayMakers Repertory Company in a rolling repertory production under the expert guidance of guest director Brendon Fox. Suffice for now to praise this production, which joins such previous PRC miracles as The Hostage, Ring 'Round the Moon, Cloud 9, Luminosity, Cyrano de Bergerac and Nicholas Nickleby among the finest examples of theatre I have seen anywhere. Narelle Sissons' scenic designs are a model for combining the starkly simple, the cunningly utilitarian and the breathtakingly magical. Pat Collins' sumptuous lighting, like the alternatively blasé and fantastic costume of Jan Chambers, add luster in equal measures, as does Ryan J. Gastelum's remarkably effective sound design. Of Brendon Fox's masterful direction I have but one quibble: the many blackouts for scenic changes, which militate against the playwright's own strictures and dramaturgical fluidity. The pace by which Fox moves his staggeringly protean acting company through the 7-hour traffic of Kushner's complex double-header is as exhilarating and inventive as the actors themselves. Minor cavils aside, this production too is one for the ages.
CVNC: ONLINE ARTS JOURNAL IN NORTH CAROLINA