At the end of “Millennium Approaches,” the stunning first half of “Angels in America,” playwright Tony Kushner leaves audiences hanging in a way even the “Lone Ranger” cliffhanger master Frank Striker or the writers of “Dexter” would have been hard-pressed to duplicate.
But any first-time viewers of the Subversive Theatre Collective’s production of the play, now on stage in the Manny Fried Playhouse (255 Great Arrow Ave.), will only have to wait until Thursday for the dramatic conclusion to Kushner’s sprawling masterpiece.
In the first part of the play, we get to know an array of fascinating characters, from the sardonic Prior Walter and his neurotic lover, Louis Ironson, to closeted Mormon Joe Pitt and his pill-popping wife, Harper, to the icky Reaganite lawyer Roy Cohn. Those characters, entangled in the fight against AIDS and often against one another, reach a kind of hard-won detente in “Perestroika.” But it comes after a great deal of dramatic fireworks, which play out not only in the three-dimensional physical world but in magical, imaginary and dreamlike realms.
Director Christian Brandjes has cast Geoff Pictor as Prior, Megan Callahan as Harper, Brian Zybala as Joe and Jerrold Brown as Roy Cohn. The show alternates with “Millennium Approaches” through Feb. 16. Tickets are $25. Call 408-0499 or visit www.subversivetheatre.org.
– Colin Dabkowski