Playbill Pride: From Angels in America to Hedwig, Our Top Ten Gay Plays

By Ben Rimalower
27 Jun 2013



1. Angels in America
By Tony Kushner

The impact of Angels in America on the theatre is so enormous and game-changing that it's hard to imagine the state of things before it came along. Immediately upon the first half's (Millennium Approaches) opening on Broadway and winning the Pulitzer Prize in 1993, Angels established itself as the new benchmark in dramatic writing. Had there ever been a play that so shrewdly dissected American culture, politics, religion, morality, and sex, so right in the moment, and yet so in perspective of a wide scope of history? Angels in America didn't have to work to fuse these themes; it exploded them in the fastest seven hours I know I've ever spent doing anything. Never before or since have I been so enthralled, entertained, delighted, disturbed, moved, shocked, enlightened and inspired. Yes, Angels in America, is a gay play; you just might not notice in the midst of it being an everything play. That's part of its accomplishment.

(Ben Rimalower is the author and star of the critically acclaimed Patti Issues, which continues to run off Off-Broadway. Read Playbill.com's coverage of the solo show here. Visit him at benrimalower.com and follow @benrimalower on Twitter.)

David Marshall Grant, Stephen Spinella and Jeffrey Wright in the original production
photo by Joan Marcus