Opening Night

There are now confirmed, definite sightings of angels in America, right now as I report to you live from Baltimore, Maryland...eight of them, to be precise, who did marvelous performances in incredibly difficult roles last night. Or maybe there are ten, because Shannon Hunt and Andrew Syropoulos, our intrepid stage managers, worked themselves into a frenzy to make the complex video, set, light, and sound elements coalesce.

Last night was the official end of my journey with Angels in America: Millennium the director, my job finishes the moment the play opens. So as I made the metaphoric journey from being a private member of the backstage crew to being a public member of the enthusiastic audience, I was able to sit back and really look at the play for the first time in days, to really SEE it the way an audience does. And I was one incredibly proud papa. There are moments so funny that the audience stopped the show with laughter or applause; other tiny bits where my heart smashed to bits; others, where I was simply in awe of Kushner and the actors and my incredible designers (Allen, Chris, Shannon...beautiful art, you three) the talent assembled. It was a special moment in my career, one I'll treasure for a very long time.

I'm off on a train back to New York this weekend, to start preparing for Angels in America, Part Two: Perestroika, which will continue this journey next spring. It's a very different play, with a very different look and a very different sensibility. And if I learned anything this week, it's this: pre-production preparation is the key.

But for now...thank you, Angels. I miss you already.

[Photo: Richard Goldberg as Louis Ironson, under the angels' wings. Credit: Robbie Heacock]

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