I must be honest. There would be two types of theater goers after watching the award-winning Angels in America by American playwright Tony Kushner: the one who would rave about the theatrical perfection of this groundbreaking masterpiece, and the one who got bored to death.

For some, they need to know what it is all about before committing to watching with friends. For me, when I watch plays, I usually go clueless about what it is all about, so as to have no biases. I let the story unfold, appreciate the narrative and finish the show with an internal reflection of what it means to me.

I’ll let you know what I think at the end of this post.

 

ANGELS IN AMERICA
Carlos P. Romulo Auditorium, RCBC Plaza, Makati
March 22 to April 7, 2019
For tickets, visit www.ticketworld.com.ph

Zone 1 – ₱3,500
Zone 2 – ₱2,500
Zone 3 – ₱1,500

ANGELS IN AMERICA contains strong language and mature content. Due to its subject matter, this show is strongly recommended to ages 17 years old and above.

About

It’s a gay fantasia straight play in 2 parts: The Millennium Approaches (Part 1) and Perestroika (Part 2).

The first part, now on its last weekend in Manila, runs for 3 hours with two intermission breaks. The second part, on the other hand, is expected to be staged next year.

(Trivia: Angels in America was first staged in Manila in 1995 in one whole day with a lunch break in between the two parts. It was directed by Bobby Garcia who now runs Atlantis Productions.)

Like Rent

The show has similar themes to Rent, tackling gay struggles with Aids in the 80’s Manhattan scene.

While Rent entertains you with its music, Angels in America touches you with the drama of its gay couple characters and brings you right into the center of their dilemma.

After the Show

It feels heavy and bitin after watching Part 1, with just a “To be continued…” sign and a curtain call from the characters.

The appearances of ghosts, angels and imaginary friends entertain and cut the heaviness of the drama which helps you absorb the narrative better.

Awesome Cast

It was so wonderful to watch the actors perform live. The stellar cast includes:
• Pinky Amador as the Angel and Cherie Gil as Hannah Pitt;
• Nelsito Gomez as Louis Ironson and Topper Fabregas as his HIV Positive lover, Prior Walter;
• Markki Stroem as closeted gay clerk, Joe Pitt and Angeli Bayani as his pill-popping wife, Harper Pitt;
• Andoy Ranay as Belize, an ex-drag queen; and
• Art Acuña as Roy Cohn, a closeted gay power executive with AIDS.

Watching Strategy

It starts exactly on time at 8:00 pm and promptly ends at 11:00 pm. There are two intermissions: a 15-minute one after an hour and another 10-minute one after the second hour. So best not to watch it when you are tired after a whole day’s work.

Make sure to have dinner at 6:00 pm and be there by 7:30 pm. Don’t be like us. We arrived at exactly 8:00 and had to cut through the compressed seats and break the mood of the orchestra audience.

Have an ice cream during the intermission, buy the souvenir program (₱500) or have a souvenir angel photo.

AIDS Awareness

We loved the performances of Andoy Ranay as the ex-drag queen Belize and Topper Fabregas as the bedridden Prior Walter.

The show is a preview of life with AIDS and its drastic effect on relationships and lifestyle.

By the way, did you know that AIDS incidence in Manila is increasing because millennials usually have casual sex without any protection?

Boring?

I must admit, it may be boring for some for three reasons:

• It’s hard to relate to the 80’s social-political New York-centric context and the Jewish references.

• It is a straight play and difficult to watch, especially right after seeing the musical performance of Eto Na! MusicalnAPO!

• You can’t relate if you don’t have interactions with gay people or deal with the same struggles as the characters.

Must-See!

It’s a critically-acclaimed play, and it is quite a unique genre—a 7-hour long gay fantasia show divided into two parts.

You wouldn’t want to miss out on watching The Millennium Approaches (Part One) when Perestroika (Part Two) is staged next year.

The ending Angel scene was awesome to watch knowing the story that led to it, and you couldn’t wait to see what happens next.

What I think

I appreciate how our theatre scene in Manila is continuing to evolve to the world-class standards of Broadway and West End. The audience has also matured over time, appreciating more in-depth dramatic performances. The show is a great way to mark the 20th Anniversary year of Atlantis Theatrical Entertainment Group.

I was disturbed after watching the show because the situations are a reflection of what is now happening in Manila. It’s like an inside peek into what happens in a gay relationship, the drama around AIDS and the mental depression prevalent among today’s social media generation.

I must admit you must be in a certain disposition to watch this show. You shouldn’t be tired, you should not have come from watching a musical a few hours before, and you should be ready for the 3-hour drama. It would be awesome to watch this in the company of gay friends or mature theater goers.

Don’t miss the last weekend run of Atlantis Theatrical’s production of Angels in America Part One: Millennium Approaches!

 

ANGELS IN AMERICA
Carlos P. Romulo Auditorium, RCBC Plaza, Makati
March 22 to April 7, 2019
For tickets, visit www.ticketworld.com.ph

Zone 1 – ₱3,500
Zone 2 – ₱2,500
Zone 3 – ₱1,500

ANGELS IN AMERICA contains strong language and mature content. Due to its subject matter, this show is strongly recommended to ages 17 years old and above.

Atlantis Theatrical Entertainment Group
No.10 J. Cruz St., APT Bldg., Brgy. Ugong, Pasig City
Email: [email protected]
Mobile Number: +63 (917) 838 – 1534
Facebook: Atlantis Theatrical
Instagram@atlantistheatrical
Twitter@ATEGasia
Websitehttp://atlantistheatrical.com/

 

Live an Awesome Life,
Anton
Founder, www.OurAwesomePlanet.com 

Disclosure: We watched courtesy of Atlantis Productions.  I wrote this article with my biases, opinions and insights.

P.S. Friends, after watching Part 1, let’s watch Part 2 together. 🙂 PM me.