Ladies and gentlemen, meet Tony Kushner. Since the breakthrough in the early 1990s of his two-part epic, Angels in America — subsequently made into a hit miniseries — Kushner has emerged as one of the country’s leading playwrights. With his cutting wit and penchant for uncomfortable opinions, Kushner has earned a Pulitzer, an Emmy and two Tony Awards — and a reputation that runs the gamut from charming to demanding to unpredictable.
Yet the man portrayed in Wrestling with Angels: Playwright Tony Kushner is resolutely upbeat, productive, at ease with himself and tender with family and friends. Kushner can even be described as amazingly relaxed for someone whose days are a blur of disparate activities united by his drive both to “speak the truth” and to succeed as an artist — never mind being a gay progressive who grew up in the South.
In “Wrestling with Angels,” director Freida Lee Mock includes extended performances and readings from Kushner’s plays and musicals with appearances and commentary from such theatrical lights as actresses Marcia Gay Harden, Meryl Streep, Emma Thompson and Tonya Pinkins, directors Mike Nichols, George C. Wolfe and Oskar Eustis, and writer/artist Maurice Sendak.