On October 8th. Glenn Close, Laura Linney, Patti LuPone, S. Epatha Merkerson and Jeremy O. Harris will present a free hourlong virtual benefit performance of seven scenes from ” Tony Kushner’s award winning “Angels in America,” the 1993 play about the AIDS.
Though the 15 actors filmed themselves in separate locations, in a feat of technical wizardry, their likenesses have been collaged together to make it look as though they are in the same room. “It lives between a theater piece and a film,” the performance’s director, Ellie Heyman, said. “I’ve never worked on anything like it.”
The twist is that the casting departs from tradition as Close will transform herself into Roy Cohn, the evil closeted gay lawyer. The drug-addicted housewife Harper Pitt is typically played by a woman in her early 30s, but in this production, the 89-year-old actress Lois Smith tackles the role. And Brian Tyree Henry, a Black man, is one of three performers stepping into a part usually filled by a white actor: Prior Walter, a 30-year-old gay man who contracts AIDS. (The other two will be Paul Dano and Andrew Rannells.)
The virtual performance will benefit the Foundation for AIDS Research (amfAR) Fund to Fight Covid-19 and will be streamed live at 8:30 p.m. October. 8th. on the Broadway.com YouTube channel.