Part Two of the two-part Angels in America, Tony Kushner’s epic drama set during the Reagan years in America – now recognised as one of the greatest plays of the twentieth century.
Perestroika picks up the stories of Prior and Cohn from Part One: Millennium Approaches. Prior, overwhelmed by the responsibilties of ‘prophet’ placed on him by the angels, wishes that they would leave him alone. Cohn, now dying from the virus, continues to manipulate the system from his hospital bed. But who is left to look after them now? And does anyone still care?
With a climax as bittersweet as it is beautiful, we are left wondering who the real angels are in a disparate world.
Perestroika was premiered in November 1992 in a production by the Mark Taper Forum, Los Angeles, directed by Oskar Eustis and Tony Taccone. In November 1993 it received its London debut in a National Theatre production on the Cottesloe stage, in repertory with a revival of Millennium Approaches, again directed by Declan Donnellan.
Perestroika won the 1994 Tony Award for Best Play.
‘One of the greatest plays of the 20th century’
— New York Observer
‘The most ambitious American play of our time’
‘A vast, miraculous play, a true millennial work of art’
— New York Times
‘A victory for the theatre, for the transforming power of the imagination to turn devastation into beauty’
— New Yorker
‘A vision of America at large, pulsating with energy and appetites in the shadow of history and the sense of oncoming disaster’
— Independent on Sunday
Best Play, Tony Awards