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Angels in America, Part Two: Perestroika
by Tony Kushner
Angels in America, Part Two: Perestroika Act 1, Scene 1 Summary
January 1986 From the darkness we hear a voice, telling us that we're in the Hall of Deputies at the Kremlin, in Moscow. Aleksii Antedilluvianovich Prelapsarianov, the World's Oldest Living Bolshevik, is about to speak. The ancient blind man stands at a podium in front of a giant red flag. Aleksii addresses the crowd and asks big questions: "Are we doomed? [...] Will the Past release us? [...] Can we Change?" (1.1.2). The Bolshevik criticizes the crowd for changing too fast and implies that they are unworthy. At the end of his speech he gets all metaphorical and says, "If the snake sheds his skin before a new skin is ready, naked he will be in the world, prey to the forces of chaos" (1.1.2). There's a big ripping, crashing sound, and the red flag flies out. Suddenly we see the tableau from the ending of the first part of . This scene is a mash-up of the Bolshevik and Prior/the angel. Angels in America The angel hovers amidst the wreckage of Prior Walter's ceiling. She is barefoot and wears a beautiful white gown. Aleksii cries out, "Then we dare not, we cannot, we MUST NOT move ahead!" (1.1.4). The angel repeats her last line from Part One: "Greetings, Prophet. The Great Work Begins. The Messenger has arrived" (1.1.5). Prior tells her to "Go away" (1.1.6).
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