Roy M. Cohn, a successful New York lawyer and unofficial power broker
Joseph Porter Pitt, chief clerk at the Federal Court of Appeals
Harper Amaty Pitt, Joe’s wife, an agoraphobic with a mild Valium addiction
Louis Ironson, a word processor working for the Second Circuit Court of Appeals
Prior Walter, Louis’s boyfriend, former drag queen
Hannah Porter Pitt, Joe’s mother, widowed
Belize, a registered nurse and former drag queen
Isidor Chemelwitz, an orthodox Jewish rabbi
Mr. Lies, Harper’s imaginary friend, a travel agent
Henry, Roy’s doctor
Emily, a nurse
Prior I, the ghost of a dead Prior Walter from the thirteenth century
Prior II, the ghost of a dead Prior Walter from the seventeenth century
Victor Ioan Frunză
set and costume design
What is marvelous in the planning and execution of director Victor Ioan Frunză’s staging of Millenium Approaches is the creation of an atmosphere of heavy waiting. Within the space of the stage, which reminds us of the coldness and hostility of a waiting room (the antechamber of civilian and physical death alike), set and costume designer Adriana Grand defines a multitude of sub-spaces. (...) The out of the ordinary, utterly perfect mix between realism and sur-reality, a record of proceedings (day, time, date) and dreams, dreaming, or delusion in law caused by the excessive valium consumption, like Marilyn Monroe (in the case of Joseph's sociopathic wife Harper), and an unbearable nightmare. The mix achieved by director Victor Ioan Frunză with the help of designer Adriana Grand of the fallen angels and the fallen human beings according to society is extraordinary. As I previously stated, the angels, these fantastic figures born in the imagination of the extraordinary set and costume designer are truly remarkable.
The celebrated company of the Hungarian Theatre of Cluj gives the performance a remarkable homogeneity through the contribution of the entire cast. The brittle border between reality and hallucination puts fantasy deep in the minds of the characters, who are animated by authentic experiences, and rendered with finesse and human vibration by the Cluj cast: love and suffering (Prior - Erwin Szűcs and Harper - Éva Imre), desire and cowardice (Louis - Balázs Bodolai and Joe - Péter Árus), the fear of death and the cynicism of power (Roy - Zsolt Bogdán), bigotry and empathy (Hannah - Emöke Kató), lucidity and compassion (Belize - Szabolcs Balla). The actors of the cast portray several roles – in alignment with the indications of the playwright - as a sign of the mutual conversion of genres into this world where the masculine / feminine shell does not necessarily correspond to the psychological identity of the character. (...) The two imaginary characters, the Angel - Tekla Tordai and Mr. Lies - Szabolcs Balla, are depicted with gentle, tolerant and playful gestures, emphasizing the real tension from which they are born. Director Victor Ioan Frunză scrupulously respects the original text, is mindful of the portrayals’ every detail favored by the consistency of the text, which gives the actors the opportunity to inhabit characters that have a sinuous arc.
This is a traditional production. A text of calculated dramaturgy, Regietheater. It could easily be anachronistic as well. However, Victor Ioan Frunză demonstrates that this “professional” format can work very well. Angels in America at the Hungarian Theatre of Cluj is not craftwork, it is more than that. For every co-creator, from the director to the actors (and beyond) seemed to have put into it a little more than their best knowledge. As if it were more than the sum of the highest quality ingredients, at least that particular night when I saw it, there was also a secret element included.
Date of the opening: december 17, 2017