Talking Tony Kushner's 'Angels in America' at Cafe Flore

7 min
(l to r) Caldwell Tidicue (Mr. Lies) and Bethany Jillard (Harper Pitt) discuss environmental issues in Berkeley Repertory Theatre’s production of 'Angels in America, Part One: Millennium Approaches.' (Kevin Berne/Berkeley Rep)

Every once in a while a piece of art comes along that not only captures a moment in time, but also manages to speak to the future. In 1991, Tony Kushner's play Angels in America about the AIDS crisis did just that.

The Pulitzer Prize-winning drama was birthed in San Francisco and KQED's Brian Watt and Chloe Veltman went along to opening night of a new production of the work at Berkeley Repertory Theatre. A few days later, they headed to Flore in the Castro, where Kushner penned much of his epic drama, to talk about the experience. (The cafe was known as "Cafe Flore" back when Kushner frequented it.)

Their conversation, recorded and edited for KQED Radio, includes thoughts about how the play's depiction of environmental woes and political braggadocio feel even more relevant today than they did in the early 1990s, and how it's possible for eight hours of theater to fly by so fast.

Click the play button above to hear the discussion, produced by Erika Kelly.

Stephen Spinella (Roy Cohn) in Berkeley Repertory Theatre’s production of Angels in America, Part One: Millennium Approaches.
Stephen Spinella (Roy Cohn) in Berkeley Repertory Theatre’s production of Angels in America, Part One: Millennium Approaches. (Photo: Courtesy of Kevin Berne/Berkeley Repertory Theatre)

Angels in America plays at Berkeley Repertory Theatre through July 22. To find out more about the production, click here.

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