Angels in America, Part 2

Saw the second half of Angels in America.

Well, I liked this incarnation of the angel--no distracting fires, and Nichols actually seemed to have built a set and resorted to wirework to float Thompson. I'd have liked a fiercer angel--someone who looks as if she'd tear you to shreds as bless you. And the sex was annoying--onstage they just writhed in orgasm, no floating around or CGI nonsense, thank you (do I have to add that I found the flames on the aldder annoying?).

Nichol's directing I liked better, maybe because this part has more comedy setpieces; I especially liked the confrontation between Prior and Pitt and between Prior and Pitt's mother. I guess I've forgotten that Nichols is good at comedy...just don't ask him to do magnificence, or SFX, or subtlety, or large cast ensembles all talking in one shot.

Most critics find part 1 better, but I liked how part 2 developed...this is the payoff for a lot of what seemed pointless, and you know and like the characters that much more, even Cohn. Pacino was moving, annoying, funny, moving again--it doesn't have the intensity of a stage performance, but Pacino does it justice, I think.

Wilson's Joe Pitt is an interesting case. Kushner found it in himself to sympathize with all his characters, even a demon like Cohn, but Wilson is left practically in the dark--I guess you can be on the good side, or even on the wrong side, but magnificently, and he'd give you a measure of respect; it's the shirkers and the ones who fall short in their goodness or evil that are totally shut out.

Angels raises interesting thoughts about the differences and similarities between something like this and something like The Singing Detective, which is an obvious influence, and between someone like Kushner and someone like Potter, who use similar techniques to almost diametrically opposite ends--but I'd stop and leave it for further thought,,,maybe an article or two...

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