Final Performance to Take Place on July 15
On February 23, 2018, Angels in America began previews at the Neil Simon Theatre, ahead of its opening night on March 25, 2018. This double decker play by Tony Kushner is performed in two full-length parts, Angels in America: Millennium Approaches and Angels in America: Perestroika. The two-part play is also subtitled A Gay Fantasia on National Themes. The show was written in 1991-1992, and the Broadway debut took place in 1993, directed by George C. Wolfe. The currently running revival is the first time the show has been seen on Broadway since the premiere. This production originated in London at the National Theatre, where it became the fastest selling show in that theatre’s history. The show is directed by Marianne Elliott, a regular at the National Theatre whose work has traveled to Broadway on two previous occasions, both of which were immensely successful. These were the productions of War Horse in 2011 and The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time in 2014. Many members of the London cast of Angels in America transferred to Broadway. These include Andrew Garfield as Prior Walter, Nathan Lane as Roy M. Cohn, Susan Brown as Hannah Pitt, Denise Gough as Harper Pitt, Amanda Lawrence as The Angel, James McArdle as Louis Ironson, and Nathan Stewart-Jarrett as Belize. In addition, Emmy nominee Lee Pace joined the cast for the Broadway production in the role of Joseph Pitt. All in all, the show received excellent reviews, and this production is a marked success.
In this year’s Tony Awards ceremony, Angels in America earned 11 Tony Award nominations, which tied for the honor of the second highest number of nominations among all shows. Ultimately, the show won three of these awards: those for Best Revival of a Play, Best Leading Actor in a Play for Andrew Garfield, and Best Featured Actor in a Play for Nathan Lane. Along the way, Angels in America broke the record for the highest number of nominations of any straight play in history. When these nominations were announced, the show was extended for two more weeks from its originally announced closing date of July 1, 2018. This was following a string of highly positive reviews. Ben Brantley from The New York Times called the show “flat-out fabulous” and the cast “top-flight,” while Greg Evans called the show a “masterwork” that “remains as rich a theatrical experience as when Kushner won the Pulitzer back in ’93.” Marilyn Stasio from Variety compared the show to “picking up a scorching hot ember from a fire that won’t burn out,” and Allison Adato from Entertainment Weekly stated that “this renewed reminder that the world will spin forward also through these troubled times feels especially welcome.”
Nevertheless, the box office for this show was never a complete sell-out. Over the course of all reported box office figures thus far, which include all but this final week, Angels in America has brought in an average of 66.84% of its gross potential. With a top ticket price of $247.00, the average paid admission of the run to date has been $101.21, and the audience has been filled up to an average of 91.93% of its capacity. This is made all the more difficult by the fact that the show is two plays, which increases both the time commitment required to endure the production, as well as the price point. This is in a season that also has the newly opened Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, which won the Tony Award for Best Play, and which also requires the two-play commitment. Therefore, while this revival may not have earned its money back, it was a sincere pleasure for all who viewed it, and it will certainly go down in history as a success.
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