From Schnitzler to Kushner
The good-looking young men cruising the aisles were putting on a show of their own. “Questionnaires!” they sang as they handed out pink forms to everybody. “Get your questionnaires!” The curtain of the Walter Kerr theater on Broadway would not be going up on this performance of Millennium Approaches, Part 1 of Angels in America,1 before everyone in the audience did his or her duty. If the Angels scripts, T-shirts, and baseball caps in the foyer were yours to buy or not, the questionnaire verged on mandatory.
And so the Jewish Long Islanders making up the bulk of the house, plus the corn-fed Midwesterners and Japanese tourists glad to be at this first half of Tony Kushner’s seven-hour “Gay Fantasia,” the hottest thing for two seasons running, yielded up the desired information as cheerfully as if they were doing a painless good deed. “Where,” for example, “do you currently reside?” Followed by: “Please indicate which of the following factors or sources of influence you were aware of regarding Angels in America, and then the degree each factor was influential to your decision” to come. Tony Award for Best Play of 1993? Of 1994? Personal recommendation? Advertising?
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