Two months after staging its first production, ever, by August Wilson, PlayMakers Rep returns to catch-up mode, finally getting around to Tony Kushner's play a mere generation after it was written in 1990—and years after notable productions have already been staged in the region (in 2005 at Duke, and two years ago at Theatre in the Park).
For those few theatergoers who missed both of those productions—or the HBO miniseries, for that matter—Kushner's intimate epic tracks a diverse constellation of American citizens as they are plunged into the deluge of the first years of the AIDS crisis. As we wrote about the show back in 2008, Kushner "zeroes in on the folly, the hubris, the uncertainty, the courage and the integrity with which people either faced the maelstrom or refused to do so." The experiences of the corrupt, the visionary, the bewildered and those who cared for them ultimately form a broad and humane tapestry, in what is clearly one of the most important theater works of the past century.
Guest director Brendon Fox (who directed a memorable Opus at PRC last year) helms this show, which runs in rotating rep with Angels in America II: Perestroika through March 6. Evening performances are at 7:30 p.m., with weekend matinees at 2 p.m. (By the way, since the show is in previews for a full week, which means critics won't be writing about it until it officially opens on Feb. 5, we'll have a page reserved exclusively for your responses as its preview audience on Artery, our arts blog.) —Byron Woods