Windy City Media Group Frontpage News

THE VOICE OF CHICAGO'S GAY, LESBIAN, BI, TRANS AND QUEER COMMUNITY SINCE 1985

home search facebook twitter join
Gay News Sponsor Windy City Times 2021-09-01
DOWNLOAD ISSUE
Donate

Sponsor
Sponsor

  WINDY CITY TIMES

Author Dan Kois talks 'Angels in America' in new book
by Lauren Emily Whalen
2018-09-26

This article shared 759 times since Wed Sep 26, 2018
facebook twitter pin it google +1 reddit email


As a college theater student, Dan Kois became obsessed with Tony Kushner's epic drama Angels in America. That obsession continued for years, fueling Kois' just-released book, The World Only Spins Forward, an Oral History of Angels in America ( co-authored by Isaac Butler ).

"I engaged with those characters and their struggles," Kois said of Kushner's saga of love and survival at the height of the AIDs crisis in the '80s. "After reading the first part of the two-part epic, [I] was waiting to see what would happen in Part Two, which I know now Tony was also trying to figure out," he said.

On Oct. 1, Kois joins with Chicago actors who brought Angels in America to life for a discussion of the book, the play and its impact on the world. The 7 p.m. event takes place at Victor Gardens Theater.

Angels in America Part I, Millennium Approaches debuted in San Francisco in 1991. In 1993, both parts of the roughly seven-hour play—Millennium Approaches and Perestroika—debuted on Broadway. In 1994, Chicago opened the first national tour of Angels in America at the Royal George Theatre. Chicago's second production of the piece was David Cromer's 1998 revival for the Journeyman theater. Cromer's reimagining, Kois said, is the only regional production that receives its own chapter in the book.

"Cromer's production made other theater companies feel like it's possible to do this play without breaking your theater company in half," Kois said of the Journeyman's vastly scaled-down black-box rendering.

"It can be a series of chamber pieces where the effects are used sparingly and are even more effective as a result," Kois said. Interviews with artists involved with Cromer's production made an impression on Kois. The Journeyman's intimate staging, he said, resulted in "an amazing community experience in which the entire theater community came together to rehearse, create and grab this play for themselves."

Angels in America has played throughout the world and launched many a career. The original Broadway production won the 1993 and 1994 Tony Awards for Best Play, and Millennium Approaches was awarded the Pulitzer Prize in 1993. Mike Nichols' 2003 HBO adaptation featured Meryl Streep, Mary-Louise Parker and Emma Thompson. The recent Broadway revival, a transplant from London's National Theatre, boasted Nathan Lane and Andrew Garfield among its star-studded cast. The 250 interviews in The World Only Spins Forward include conversations with Streep, Lane and Parker, among others.

The Oct. 1 event will feature Chicago's early Angels, including actors Jeff Christian, K. Todd Freeman, Philip E. Johnson, Elizabeth Laidlaw, Natasha Lowe, Ian Owens, Keith Phipps and Barbara Robertson.

The book began as a cover story for Slate, where Kois is an editor. "I pitched it as an oral history," he said. "Not only was the history of the play full of the great talkers of the last 25 years…but also the play itself is a real act of conversation. It's a series of dialectics designed to be oppositional voices put in the same room as each other, arguing about the things that matter most."

When the first draft of the story was 40,000 words ( roughly 160 pages ) Kois and co-author Butler knew they had a book. "We did a good job telling the story of the play's birth and Broadway, but what we hadn't told was the way the play reached the rest of America."

Was it difficult to get prominent actors, directors and writers, including Kushner himself, to talk? According to Kois, not a bit.

"The stories we got were great and the memories were vivid and the opinions were strongly worded. People wanted to go to the mat for something they did 20, 25 years ago," he said.

How, according to Kois, has Angels endured over two decades?

"We started the interviews in the summer of 2016," Kois said. With the presidential election, "the tenor of all those interviews really changed," he said.

People involved with Angels in America productions that happened at the peak of the AIDS crisis spoke of "creating art at a time of emergency," Kois said. That feeling is prevalent today, he said.

"For many people, it feels like we are once again at a time when activism is desperately necessary, and when our art can address the underlying energies that require us all to fight back against the forces that want to stop the world from turning," Kois said. "The lesson of [Angels in America] is that there's always going to be a crisis and an emergency, and art is the way we can navigate and negotiate."

The reading and discussion of The World Only Spins Forward: The Ascent of Angels in America is at 7 p.m. Monday, Oct. 1, at Victory Gardens Theater, 2433 N. Lincoln Ave. Copies of the book will be available for purchase, and a book signing will follow. The event is free but reservations are required as space is limited. To reserve tickets, call 773-871-3000 or email tickets@victorygardens.org .


This article shared 759 times since Wed Sep 26, 2018
facebook twitter pin it google +1 reddit email





Windy City Media Group does not approve or necessarily agree with the views posted below.
Please do not post letters to the editor here. Please also be civil in your dialogue.
If you need to be mean, just know that the longer you stay on this page, the more you help us.


  ARTICLES YOU MIGHT LIKE

Gay News

Women & Children First hosting virtual event with Anita Hill on Sept. 29 2021-09-11
- Anita Hill—the University Professor of Social Policy, Law, and Women's and Gender Studies at Brandeis University who played a major role in the 1991 Senate confirmation hearings for U.S. Supreme Court nominee Clarence Thomas—will be part ...


Gay News

Chicago Literary Hall of Fame announces 2021 class of new inductees 2021-08-18
--From a press release - Chicago, August 17, 2021 — The Chicago Literary Hall of Fame (CLHOF) announced that its 2021 Class of Inductees will include Frank London Brown, Jeanette Howard Foster, Carlos Cortez, and Gene Wolfe. The inductees will be ...


Gay News

Chicago-area author releases book about gay, autistic African-American 2021-08-18
- PenPower Book Marketing Services and Chicago-area author Jaire Sims have released his debut young adult novel, Getting By, which was named a finalist in the African American (Fiction) category in the 2021 Next Generation Indie Book ...


Gay News

Printers Row Lit Fest returns to Chicago Sept. 11-12 2021-08-12
--From a press release - CHICAGO (August 12, 2021) Printers Row Lit Fest, the largest free outdoor literary showcase in the Midwest, returns for its 36th year with 100% free programming for book lovers the weekend after Labor Day, Saturday, Sept. ...


Gay News

THEATER REVIEW Rent 2021-08-10
- Playwright: book, music and lyrics by Jonathan Larson At: Possibilities Theatre Company at NorthCenter Town Square, 4100 N. Damen Ave. Tickets: suggested donation $20; https://www.eventcombo.com/e/rent-43212 or ...


Gay News

Equality Illinois' new deputy director talks goals, position and books 2021-08-01
- On July 15, Mony Ruiz-Velasco officially started in the new position of Equality Illinois' deputy director. Ruiz-Velasco is an experienced attorney who has worked for immigrants rights for many years, and has even been the legal ...


Gay News

Gerber/Hart comedy benefit Sept. 18 2021-07-31
- Gerber/Hart Library and Archives, 6500 N. Clark St.. will host a comedy benefit, "Stacks of Laughter," on Saturday, Sept. 18. At 6 p.m., there will be a VIP reception with local historian John D'Emilio. Also, a ...


Gay News

NATIONAL Amazon, condo collapse, T-shirt controversy, GLSEN 2021-07-18
- At least two Amazon employees have resigned in recent weeks to protest the company's decision to continue to sell a book they say frames young people who identify as transgender as mentally ill, NBC News reported. ...


Gay News

BOOKS Author, activist Roy Wesley on his new book about his father 2021-07-12
- Gay Chicago author, activist and Fermalogic, Inc. COO Roy Wesley has written a new book about his father—Invisible Vision: The hidden story of Dr. Newton K. Wesley, American contact-lens pioneer. Windy City Times: What made you ...


Gay News

SHOWBIZ 'Pray Away,' film contest, LGBTQ book, musicians, 'Star Trek' 2021-07-11
- The new Netflix Original Documentary Pray Away, from executive producers Ryan Murphy and Jason Blum, will make its global launch on the platform Aug. 3, a press release noted. In the film, former leaders of the ...


Gay News

SHOWBIZ Wanda Sykes on TV, trans jazz musician, book award, 'Red Table Talk' 2021-06-27
- Wanda Sykes has been tapped for a recurring role in the upcoming fifth season of Robert and Michelle King's legal drama The Good Fight, on Paramount+, Deadline noted. She will play Allegra Durado—a brilliant, strategic attorney ...


Gay News

BOOKS Grandma, Grace Jones are heroes in non-binary author's children's book 2021-06-22
- Non-binary author, alternative hip hop artist, mother and activist Ris iRAWniQ Anderson has published the children's book in Charlie's Best Work Yet. Charlie's Best Work Yet tells the semi-autobiographical story of Charlie—a shy, artistic ...


Gay News

New book: Majority Leader Hoyer unsung hero of Don't Ask, Don't Tell repeal 2021-06-22
--From a press release - WASHINGTON, DC — In a new book, LGBTQ Lobbying in the United States, authored by Dr. Christopher Pepin-Neff, LGBTQ researcher and Senior Lecturer in Public Policy at the University of Sydney and first lobbyist for Don't ...


Gay News

The Cost of Pride: Research goes inside LGBTQ movement's two decades of progress 2021-06-21
--From a press release - Sydney, Australia — With LGBTQ Pride Month upon us, new University of Sydney research released today paints a vivid picture of how the LGBTQ community has achieved groundbreaking advancements over the past two decades. The study ...


Gay News

BOOKS Precious Brady-Davis has arrived 2021-06-18
- Recently honored by Mayor Lightfoot and the LGBTQ Advisory Council as a community leader who has "helped build the foundation for a more welcoming, equitable and inclusive Chicago," Precious Brady-Davis wants to do it all. She ...


 



Copyright © 2021 Windy City Media Group. All rights reserved.
Reprint by permission only. PDFs for back issues are downloadable from
our online archives. Single copies of back issues in print form are
available for $4 per issue, older than one month for $6 if available,
by check to the mailing address listed below.

Return postage must accompany all manuscripts, drawings, and
photographs submitted if they are to be returned, and no
responsibility may be assumed for unsolicited materials.
All rights to letters, art and photos sent to Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago
Gay and Lesbian News and Feature Publication) will be treated
as unconditionally assigned for publication purposes and as such,
subject to editing and comment. The opinions expressed by the
columnists, cartoonists, letter writers, and commentators are
their own and do not necessarily reflect the position of Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay,
Lesbian, Bisexual and Transegender News and Feature Publication).

The appearance of a name, image or photo of a person or group in
Nightspots (Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times
(a Chicago Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender News and Feature
Publication) does not indicate the sexual orientation of such
individuals or groups. While we encourage readers to support the
advertisers who make this newspaper possible, Nightspots (Chicago
GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay, Lesbian
News and Feature Publication) cannot accept responsibility for
any advertising claims or promotions.

 

 

 

TRENDINGBREAKINGPHOTOS







Sponsor
Sponsor


 



Donate


About WCMG      Contact Us      Online Front  Page      Windy City  Times      Nightspots      OUT! Guide     
Identity      BLACKlines      En La Vida      Archives      Advanced Search     
Windy City Queercast      Queercast Archives     
Press  Releases      Join WCMG  Email List      Email Blast      Blogs     
Upcoming Events      Todays Events      Ongoing Events      Bar Guide      Community Groups      In Memoriam      Outguide Categories      Outguide Advertisers      Search Outguide      Travel      Dining Out      Privacy Policy     

Windy City Media Group publishes Windy City Times,
The Bi-Weekly Voice of the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Trans Community.
5315 N. Clark St. #192, Chicago, IL 60640-2113 • PH (773) 871-7610 • FAX (773) 871-7609.