ben-shenkman

4

One of those moments that makes a great play great.  Louis and Prior’s dream dance from Angels in America: Millennium Approaches.  Love and loneliness, summed up in a slow dance.

From top to bottom (the order I first encountered these productions): HBO miniseries; tech week with our choreographer and Prior; our production in performance; Signature Theatre in NYC.

10

Breakfast with Scot 2007

Scot: …I grew a lot.
Billy: Yeah. Kids grow, you grew. That’s good.
Scot: You didn’t notice.
Eric: 
I would. Cause you’re gonna grow a lot. You’re gonna get taller, your voice is gonna change,your face is gonna change. It’ll all be amazingly different. But it’ll all happen so slowly you won’t even notice. But I would. I’d notice you. Everyday,I notice you.

It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas [19/24]

one thing i’d like to say about it is that this production really solved what i thought was a huge flaw in the play, which was that we don’t know what prior saw in louis; we don’t witness their good relationship before things went to shit–from the first scene we see fundamental differences and unresolved conflict between them–so we don’t feel priors pain in full with “i’m dying, i’m dying, where’s louis, i want my fucking boyfriend, i want louis” etc.
but this louis was so…. so much more sympathetic, so much more lovable and clearly a person prior could value incredibly dearly. and it comes down to the actors ability to bring such incredible genuineness to the character. the physicality is a big part of it, the way he holds on to andrew with every fiber of his being, there’s just so much love there…. it makes his statement, that “you can love someone and fail them” completely (imo) coherent/possible to relate to his perspective, whereas with ben shenkmans louis the statement is almost ridiculous in its transparent hypocrisy, and impossible to sympathize with. but with this louis, who can completely disavow him for that statement when it’s clear that he makes it so honestly, that he truly believes it? of course we understand that he loves him–there is love there!
you see his genuineness elsewhere too: whereas shenkmans louis seems to be simply playing with ideas in his political speeches, this louis seems truly committed to his ideals, and deeply, emotionally as well as existentially distraught when he sees the validity of those ideals threatened. his rambling and incoherence comes across as genuine effort to express his ideas about right and wrong, rather than clumsy intellectual exercises. when he tells the rabbi that priors sickness runs contrary to his vision of the world, he means it–he’s not just making fallacious excuses for himself.
i don’t know! i think a likeable louis is absolutely essential to a successful production of angels. of course, not that his likeabilty excuses his behavior or condemns him any less at all; rather, it serves to allow the audience to sympathize with him, and relate to his choices, and consider our possible complicity in parallel situations in our own lives. so, contrary to lessening the weight of louis’ wrongdoing, a likeable louis succeeds in making the point of his wrongdoing fully impactfully.

10

I watched the last episode of Angels in America last night, this show was so amazing! I would love to see the play at the theatre. I think it was one of the greatest TV shows that I’ve ever seen and that’s a lot.

The story was great, the writing was fantastic along with the execution and I simply adored all of the characters. Especially Justin Kirk as Prior! <3 And Ben Shenkman as Louis! I loved them together <3

Obviously Al Pacino was great in it, and so was Meryl Steep who I’ve weirdly now seen in two things this week, this and The River Wild. That must be a first lol. Emma Thompson as the Angel as well. 

All the actors were great, Patrick Wilson as Joe and Jeffrey Wright who always made me smile as Belize. Mary-Louise Parker was pretty funny as Harper too.

I am so glad that Sky Atlantic showed this so I got to see it and it looked amazing in HD, I’m kinda sad though that I’ve seen it all now :( 

But if you haven’t seen it I suggest you do because you will love it. I did. So did my parents. 

It had sweet moments and sad moments, it had funny moments and interesting moments. It really had it all, what more could you want from a show. 

I loved how they made Heaven look, it wasn’t how people would conventionally perceive it and I liked how before he got there the picture changed to black and white when he walked the ladder up there except Prior’s red robe! <3

I’m gonna miss this, might have to buy it on dvd to watch it again!