Angels in America
written by Tony Kushner
(the introduction to ruthless lawyer Roy Cohn (Al Pacino)) Roy Cohn: Hold. I wish I was an octopus, a fucking octopus. Eight loving arms and all those suckers, know what I mean? You want lunch? Aileen, Roy Cohn. What kind of greeting is that? I thought we were friends. This will take a minute, here eat a little something. What is this? Tasty sandwich here? Uh-huh, uh-huh, I already told you, it wasn't a vacation, it was business. I have clients in Haiti. Listen, Aileen, you think I'm the only goddamn lawyer in history who ever missed a court date? Don't make such a big fuck...Ah, hold. You hag. No, it's a good time. Babydoll, fuck, wait. Hello? Yeah, sorry to keep you waiting, Judge Hollins, I was just...Oh, Mrs. Hollins? Sorry dear, what a deep voice you got. You enjoying your visit? She sounds like a truck driver, he sounds like Kate Smith, it's very confusing. Nixon appointed him, all the geeks are Nixon appointees. Uh-huh, how many tickets, dear? Seven? For what, Cats, 42nd Street, what? You wouldn't like La Cage, trust me. Trust me, I know. Oh for God's sake, hold. Babydoll, seven for Cats or something. Anything hard to get, I don't really give a fuck, neither will they. You've seen La Cage Aux Folles? Ah, fabulous. It's the best thing on Broadway, maybe ever. Yeah, who?
(as Louis, Hannah, and Belize talk about the collapse of the Soviet Union.) Prior: Let's just turn the volume down on this, ok? They'll be at it for hours, it's not that what they're saying isn't important, it's just…(sighs) This is my favorite place in New York City…No, in the whole universe…The parts of it I've seen, on a day like today. A sunny winter's day, warm and cold at once, the sky's a little hazy so the sunlight has a physical presence, a character. In autumn, when those trees across the lake are yellow, and the sun strikes those most brilliantly, against the blue of the sky, that sad fall blue…Those trees are more light than vegetation. They're Yankee Trees. New England transplants, they're barren now. It's January 1990, I've been living with AIDS for five years. That's six whole months longer than I lived with Louis. This angel, she's my favorite angel. I like them best when they're statuary. They commemorate death, but they suggest a world without dying. They're made of the heaviest things on earth, stone and iron, they weigh tons but they're winged. They're engines and instruments of flight. This is the angel Bethesda, Louis will tell you her story.
(Louis, Belize and Hannah tell their part of the story of Bethesda)
Prior: The fountain's not flowing now, they turn it off in the winter. Ice in the pipes. But in the summer...it's a sight to see, and I want to be around to see it. I plan to be, I hope to be. This disease will be the end of many of us, but not nearly all. And the dead will be commemorated, and will struggle on with the living and we are not going away. We won't die secret deaths anymore. The world only spins forward, we will be citizens. The time has come. Bye now, you are fabulous each and every one and I bless you. More life, the great work begins.
(Louis and Belize are talking about democracy in America and Prior's condition, when Belize is reminded of his favorite novel.) Belize: Real love isn't ambivalent. I'd swear that's a line from my favorite best-selling paperback novel, “In Love with the Night Mysterious", except I don't think you've ever read it. Well, you ought to, instead of spending the rest of your life, trying to get through "Democracy in America." It's about this white woman whose daddy owns a plantation in the Deep South, in the years before the Civil War. And her name is Margaret, and she's in love with her daddy's number-one slave, and his name is Thaddeus. And she's married, but her white slave-owner husband has AIDS: Antebellum Insufficiently-Developed Sex-organs. And so, there's a lot of hot stuff going down, when Margaret and Thaddeus can catch a spare torrid ten under the cotton-picking moon. And then of course the Yankees come, and they set the slaves free. And the slaves string up old daddy and so on, historical fiction. Somewhere in there I recall, Margaret and Thaddeus find the time to discuss the nature of love. Her face is reflecting the flames of the burning plantation, You know the way white people do, and his black face is dark in the night and she says to him, "Thaddeus, real love isn’t ever ambivalent."
Kudos and much thanks go to Scott for these monologues, it is very much appreciated.
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