The union of great writing and captivating performance in the Black Swan Theatre Company’s latest production is a theatregoer’s delight. Tony Kushner’s celebrated Angels in Americais an exploration of being gay during the AIDS epidemic in New York set against the backdrop of Ronald Reagan’s America. Fear, isolation, prejudice, and the sense of an inevitable reckoning infuse the personal and political threads .Despite being set in 1985, the play remains resonant today. For in 2016, the fight for gay rights remains unfinished; the spirit of Roy Cohn lives on in Donald Trump; and the societal consequences of Reaganomics pervade the developed world.

The stories that make up the first part of Angels in Americaare wrenchingly sad. Early in the play, Prior Walter, a handsome young gay man, is diagnosed with AIDS. His partner Louis, an unswerving liberal, is unable to cope with prospect of Prior’s deterioration and so leaves him. Joe Pitt, a young Reaganite lawyer and protégé of Roy Cohn, clings to a marriage that has been hollowed out by Joe’s repressed homosexuality. Joe’s wife, Harper, is addicted to Valium, delusional, and ‘amazingly unhappy.’ The...