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Angels in America, Part One: Millennium Approaches (Angels in America #1)

4.26  ·  Rating Details ·  16,551 Ratings  ·  264 Reviews
Pulitzer Prize-winner for Drama, 1993. The first part of Tony Kushner's epic drama of America in the 1980s.
Paperback, 119 pages
Published May 1st 1993 by Theatre Communications Group (first published February 13th 1992)
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Charlie Gentry-Wells Ideally, yes. Part Two follows the events that Roy tackles after the end of Part One. So personally, I'd recommend reading Part One first.

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
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Saxon
May 28, 2008 Saxon rated it really liked it
Shelves: school
Its like doing lines of cocaine while at a Prince concert then going home and reading Foucault.

or

Angels in America is a grandiose, surrealistic bombast of a play dealing with almost every contemporary American facet of being gay in the U.S. during the late 80's to early 90's. Politics, law, Aids, family, religion are all included. Kushner examines these elements and the nature of Power in the states, how it is used in these relationships, and the effect it has on the gay community externally and
...more
Ashley
Jan 11, 2011 Ashley rated it really liked it
Harper: I'm not addicted. I don't believe in addiction and I... I never drink and I never take drugs.
Prior: Well, smell you, Nancy Drew.
Harper: Except for Valium.
Prior: Except Valium in wee fistfuls.
Harper: It's terrible. Mormons are not supposed to be addicted to anything. I'm a Mormon.
Prior: I'm a homosexual.
Harper: In my church, we don't believe in homosexuals.
Prior: In my church, we don't believe in Mormons.

Fantastic!
Christina
Apr 18, 2007 Christina rated it it was amazing
ROY: Your problem, Henry, is that you are hung up on words, on labels, that you believe they mean what they seem to mean. AIDS. Homosexual. Gay. Lesbian. You think these are names that tell you who someone sleeps with, but they don't tell you that.

HENRY: No?

ROY: No. Like all labels they tell you one thing and one thing only: where does an individual fit into the food chain, the pecking order? Not ideology, or sexual taste, but something much simpler: clout. Not who I fuck or who fucks me, but wh
...more
Mel Bossa
Jan 15, 2016 Mel Bossa rated it it was amazing
There was a scene in the movie Still Alice when the maddeningly sexy Kristen Stewart reads Harper's last monologue from this play to her mother, and it tore my heart out HARD.

The words of the monologue were so unique and touching. I looked up the play and was happy to find it in the queer library close to my house. Read it in a day or two and I have to say I've never read anything quite like Angels in America before.

GOD I LOVE JEWISH WRITERS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! There I said it.

And GAY JEWISH
...more
Natasha
Gosh, I almost forgot how much I love this play! Tony Kushner is a fucking genius, no doubt about it.
Yep, I'm also going to reread "Angels in America, Part Two: Perestroika" and to rewatch the amazing HBO miniseries. Lucky me!

Harper: I'm not addicted. I don't believe in addiction and I... I never drink and I never take drugs.
Prior: Well, smell you, Nancy Drew.
Harper: Except for Valium.
Prior: Except Valium in wee fistfuls.
Harper: It's terrible. Mormons are not supposed to be addicted to anythi
...more
Steve Dow
Feb 07, 2012 Steve Dow rated it it was amazing
The master. Have read this and part II twice, watched the mini series, seen a small stage version. Australian writer Robert Dessaix once said Angels in America was one of the few texts that elevated AIDS to art. I agree in this case, though Kushner's work is so much more: truth, beauty and an elegy for modern, fearful America. Here's my 2009 interview with the playwright.

http://www.stevedow.com.au/default.as...

New York playwright Tony Kushner writes about angels, but he is not so sure there is a
...more
Daniel
Nov 13, 2008 Daniel rated it really liked it
Shelves: plays, theatre
As a former reader of plays submitted to a nationally recognized theatre, I remember reading this play well before it was ever staged. I didn't care for it a whole lot at the time, but I suspect it has gone through a few rewrites to get where it is today.

What I liked, now, about this script is the very theatricality of it. Kushner understands theatre and writes to it exceedingly well.

The characters are well defined and the 'forwards,' the moments in the play which keep the reader/audience wantin
...more
Roxanne
Apr 30, 2013 Roxanne added it
Shelves: top-25
Summary: This is truly an epic work. It deals with so many themes of what it means to be gay in America in a fantastical, yet richly honest and real way which I imagine is very hard for a writer to achieve. It deals with controversial themes such as politics, disease, religion and family without seeming preachy, which the play never does. It is both devastating and humorous. The audience member or reader cannot help but be totally absorbed by the unique characters woven into this fantastic tale. ...more
Mark
Harper: It's terrible. Mormons are not supposed to be addicted to anything. I'm a Mormon.
Prior: I'm a homosexual.
Harper: Oh! In my church we don't believe in homosexuals.
Prior: In my church we don't believe in Mormons.

~ Act 1, Scene 7

I re-read this play, as well as Part II, about once a year or so, just . . . because. It remains one of the most powerful pieces of dramatic literature I've ever read, and I feel lucky that I've been able to see it live on stage. The play is multi-layered, explorin
...more
Nikolas Kalar
Feb 18, 2015 Nikolas Kalar rated it really liked it
Angels in America is one of the most ambitious pieces of mainstream American theatre ever staged, and one of the most rewarding. Criss-crossing biblical metaphor with the AIDS crisis of the 80s, it is massively successful in creating a story and characters that are both empathetic and strewn with fantastical majesty. An extraordinary piece of drama. Also, surprisingly humorous.
David Hicks
Dec 10, 2012 David Hicks rated it it was amazing
WOW. Saw this on Broadway and will never forget it.
Raeanne
Mar 27, 2017 Raeanne rated it really liked it
Okay this was fantastic! I don't really know what I was expecting to happen in the first part of this play, but I loved what I found! I can't wait to read part two for class! I don't even know what words I want to use right now to convey how much I really, really enjoyed this!!
Heather-Jane
Mar 15, 2017 Heather-Jane rated it really liked it
One of my favourite reads from class this term!
Kelsey Hanson
May 24, 2015 Kelsey Hanson rated it really liked it
Shelves: fiction, plays
Wow. This play certainly has a grandiose delivery. This book focuses on the AIDS crisis in New York City (Yes, it gets compared to RENT occasionally because they were both written for the stage around the same time and deal with similar subject matter and occasionally delve into the surreal. The two plays are drastically different, trust me). This play focuses on the stark reality of AIDS and it impact on people's lives as well as what it meant to be gay in the 1980s. It also uses unique surreal ...more
Earl
Jun 14, 2016 Earl rated it liked it
Shelves: lgbtq
I didn't know what to expect when I first read this but I ended up liking it. It was quirky and had perfectly flawed characters. It was a good mix of the totally absurd which made the heartbreaking moments more so. I would love to see this in production. I watched bits and pieces of the movie since I was interested in seeing if they were going to double up on the roles like originally intended- and they did for some but not all.
Nicole Dilillo
Dec 02, 2015 Nicole Dilillo rated it really liked it
I had to read this book for a class, and when I began reading it I was convinced I wouldn't like it. But as I read on I couldn't stop reading. I had such strong feelings for so many of the characters. I really liked Joe and could not stand Harper. I am actually really looking forward to reading part 2 on my own.
Michelle Lynne
Mar 31, 2012 Michelle Lynne rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites, plays
Angels in America is my absolute favourite play of all time. Really, really well put together. The dialogue literally makes me swoon at its wittiness. I love every single character. The concept it portrays is spectacular. Anyone interested in drama should read this play.
Victor Heranz
Dec 30, 2016 Victor Heranz rated it it was amazing
Adoro esas obras en las que mataría por hacer todos lo personajes, masculinos y femeninos. Y dirigirla. Ángeles en América I es una de ellas. Muero por leer la segunda parte.
Allison Berryhill
Jul 12, 2015 Allison Berryhill rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2015-books
Oh I loved this. Will start Perestroika today. Rich in humor, making the pain of the human experience into art. This is why I read.
Rachel Rood
Dec 04, 2014 Rachel Rood rated it really liked it
Very good play, makes me want to see the HBO series
Leigh
Yesterday morning, after mindlessly scrolling through all of my social media feeds for hundredth time, I felt disgusted with myself and the world but mostly myself. I needed a devotional. Church. (It was Sunday morning.) But nothing religious. I gave that up long ago. I went to my bookshelf and straight to the plays. Angels caught my eye. I hadn't read it since the 90s. My copy of Millennium opened to Act 2, and I just started reading. The house was quiet; only the critters and I were up yet. I ...more
Shannon McGovern
Feb 09, 2017 Shannon McGovern rated it really liked it
Shelves: plays
I liked it!! Kushner has really strong characters and shows their challenges and values in strong relief to each other. I love the mixing of styles throughout, and it makes for a great, thought provoking read. I think the ideas about America that he presents can be revisited over and over again. Kushner does a great job of mixing the personal with political with historical with magical and I'm excited to read part 2!
Valerie
Jan 14, 2017 Valerie rated it really liked it
I read this for my American Drama class. I was surprised by how much I enjoyed it! I wasn't anticipating reading all of it this weekend, but it was so good that I ended up just speeding right through it. I'm looking forward to reading part 2 next week.
James Evans
Dec 14, 2016 James Evans rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
OMG what a fantastic play!! The comedy and the tragedy and all the characters, even the ones you hate are just brilliant. Can't wait to get the chance to see it. And I also need now book no. 2!!!
Willie
Nov 08, 2007 Willie rated it it was amazing
I saw the infamous Charlotte Rep production in...1995, I think, and it more or less changed everything-- what classes I took in college, where I went to college, and what kind of theatre I wanted to commit my life to. I'm in the midst of a reading of the play at North Carolina Stage Company (Nov 9-11, 2007), so I'm going to post something I wrote for that here:

I first saw Angels in America at Charlotte Rep in, I think, 1995. It was one of those rare, actually life changing events, and a real tur
...more
Robert Beveridge
Tony Kushner, Angels in America: Millennium Approaches (Theatre Communications Group, 1993)

I thought Millennium Approaches was going along like a house on fire for the first two-thirds of its length. It's character-driven, it's funny despite its heartbreaking subject matter, it handles an historical figure in such a way as to make him larger than life. (I will admit up front that, despite my mother having suggested I do so for something like twenty years now, I have not read Citizen Cohn, her fa
...more
Natasja
May 02, 2016 Natasja rated it really liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jana
Feb 27, 2017 Jana rated it really liked it
I think it's one of those plays that you have to see to fully get. I am seeing it in May so hopefully it makes more sense to me than it did when I read it
Sarah
Sep 13, 2016 Sarah rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I didn't really know what I was going to get out of this play however when reading it I found not only was Kushner bringing to light some issues within society from the point of religion and sexuality. I was also very intrigued by his use of staging in particular the interchanging dialogue between the split set, I would be interested to see how this looks on the stage.
Edward Cheer
Sep 01, 2015 Edward Cheer rated it really liked it
I've seen plenty of plays, films, and books that preach more to the right wing- probably because I always look more towards the side opposite of me- and it's strange to see a play pandering a great lengths to the left wing... sort of. Angels in America is a film mainly about AIDS and homosexuality and the impact they had during the term of Ronald Reagan- and it can get a little preachy and cheesy at times, but what Angels in America does, it was any good piece of writing should do... be written ...more
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Penn State Queer ...: Angels in America Discussion 1 4 Oct 26, 2016 12:35PM  
Goodreads Librari...: Angels in America Part One: Millennium Approaches 2 11 Jan 18, 2016 12:57PM  
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Tony Kushner is an award-winning American playwright most famous for his play Angels in America, for which he was awarded the Pulitzer Prize. He is also co-author, along with Eric Roth, of the screenplay of the 2005 film Munich, which was directed by Steven Spielberg and earned Kushner (along with Roth) an Academy Award nomination for Best Adapted Screenplay.
More about Tony Kushner...

Other Books in the Series

Angels in America (2 books)
  • Angels in America, Part Two: Perestroika

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“Don't be afraid; people are so afraid; don't be afraid to live in the raw wind, naked, alone...Learn at least this: What you are capable of. Let nothing stand in your way.” 75 likes
“Respect the delicate ecology of your delusions.” 67 likes
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