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Angels in America

Tony Kushner

Perestroika, Act Three

Perestroika, Act Two

Perestroika, Act Three, page 2

page 1 of 2

(Act Three is subtitled "Borborygmi, The Squirming Facts Exceed the Squamous Mind")


Scene 1

In his hospital room, Roy argues with someone on the phone, refusing to turn over his records to the disbarment committee. Ethel enters and watches him silently. Belize comes in and tries to give him pills, but Roy refuses to hang up the phone, then throws Belize's pills on the ground—he has his own supply now, he says. He periodically talks to Ethel, whom Belize cannot see. Belize is impressed by Roy's AZT stash, and then demands ten bottles of him. Even though Roy could spare them, he refuses, saying he hates Belize and hates his sense of entitlement. They fight, insulting each other bitterly. When Belize calls Roy a "greedy kike," Roy agrees to give him a bottle. When Belize leaves, Ethel tells Roy she is going to watch his disbarment hearing tomorrow.

Scene 2

Hannah enters the Diorama Room of the Mormon Visitor's Center with Prior—he is conducting research on angels, he says. Prior and Harper talk before the diorama show begins. They both almost recognize the other. The lights dim and the show begins—the story of a Mormon family migrating west. In the show, only the father, who is played by Joe, moves; the two sons have off-stage voices, while the mother and daughter are silent. Harper greets "Joe" and makes catty comments during the presentation. Louis suddenly appears in the diorama, and he and "Joe" argue about how Joe, a serious lawyer, can be a Mormon. When he sees Louis, Prior naturally thinks he is losing his mind. Harper says casually that "the little creep" is in and out of the diorama every day, but she cannot figure out what he has to do with the story. Louis and Joe keep arguing about Mormonism, and then they leave together. Harper closes the curtains of the diorama, and Prior starts to cry. Hannah hears the noise and storms in, but when she opens the curtains the father-mannequin is a real dummy—Harper and Prior have imagined everything. They stare at each other, very close to recognizing one another from their dreams. Finally, Prior leaves, and Harper begs the Mormon mother dummy to give her advice. The dummy comes to life, and the two women leave together.

Scene 3

Sitting on the beach together, Louis tells Joe about how gay men used to cruise each other in the sand dunes even in wintertime. Their talk turns to Joe's Mormonism, at which Louis is still shocked. Joe tells Louis he loves him, but Louis brushes him off, and says he wants to see Prior again. Joe is crushed. To prove his love for Louis, he begins to remove his temple garment, special underclothes he wears as an observant Mormon. He regains his composure and tells Louis he needs to leave Louis in order to obey his self-interest, and that after he does so, he will come back to Louis.

Scene 4

Belize wakes up Roy to take his pills. Drugged on morphine, Roy is delusional, and tries to seduce Belize, begging him at the same time to squeeze the life out of him. Roy asks him what the afterlife is like, and Belize says it is a city like San Francisco, full of vacant lots, streamers and dances and racial impurity. Roy thinks he is talking about Hell. When Belize replies that it was Heaven, Roy is suddenly suspicious and scared. Belize leaves him to his paranoia.

Scene 5

Harper and the Mormon mother walk on the harbor promenade in Brooklyn. Harper asks her how people change, and the mother describes a filthy, painful, difficult process. Meanwhile, Louis leaves Joe alone at the beach. He calls Prior at home and asks to see him.

More Help

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Subtitle mistake

by kaythumbs, November 13, 2014

I can see that this is not the forum for this but I don't know how to get a note to Tony Kushner nor to the people responsible for the subtitles. Had seen Angels in America a couple of times when it first came out so was revisiting it. Now old, I turned on the subtitles. In the beginning, Justin Kirk shows a lesion to his lover, who says it is just a burst blood vessel. Justin/Prior says " It is KS." The subtitle said "It is chaos."

At first I was appalled by the mistake and that nobody had apparently checked out the subtitles. ... Read more


1 out of 5 people found this helpful


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