Angels in America, Part Two: Perestroika
by Tony Kushner
Angels in America, Part Two: Perestroika Visions of America: The Reagan Era Quotes
How we cite our quotes: (Act.Scene.Line)
Prior: There are thousands of gay men in New York City with AIDS [...]. (4.1.100)
This statement from Prior gives us a snapshot of just how hard AIDS was hitting the gay community during the Reagan era. Thousands were infected in New York alone.
Radio (In a British accent): ... one week following the explosion at the number four reactor, the fires are still burning and an estimated... (Static)... releasing into the atmosphere fifty million curies of radioactive iodine [...]. (5.5.4)
Just before Prior shows up to confront the angels in Heaven, we see them listening to a radio. The disaster the radio announcer is talking about is the nuclear meltdown that occurred in Chernobyl, Belarus, in 1986. This was an absolute disaster for the Soviet Union and fueled a worldwide debate about the safety of nuclear power.
Louis: The Berlin Wall has fallen. (Epilogue.2)
One of Reagan's most memorable moments as president was when he gave a speech outside the Brandenburg Gate and told Gorbachev that if he was serious about reform he had to tear down the Berlin Wall. The Berlin Wall had long been a symbol of the divide between east and west, the communist world and the world of democracy and capitalism. Check out Reagan's speech here.