Tony Kushner's Family Values
Friday, May 06, 2011
Tony Kushner may be the most ambitious playwright of our age. His Pulitzer Prize-winning play Angels in America grappled with being gay, American politics, and the AIDS crisis. And he continues to think big: his new play is called The Intelligent Homosexual's Guide to Capitalism and Socialism With a Key to the Scriptures. It's swarming with outspoken, esoteric, funny characters who often talk over each other. Yet at root, it's a family drama: three adult children are summoned back to Brooklyn by their father Gus, a lifelong Communist who has become deeply disappointed with the world. Gus has decided he wants to kill himself, but insists his family vote on it.
Kurt Andersen compares Tony Kushner to George Bernard Shaw — but Kushner says one of his literary heroes isn't a playwright, but a statesman: Abraham Lincoln. "He was a miraculous human being... a 19th century literary genius," whose prose Kushner ranks alongside Whitman, Melville, and Dickinson. Kushner is working on the upcoming Lincoln biopic directed by Steven Spielberg and starring Daniel Day-Lewis.
Slideshow: Scenes from The Intelligent Homosexual's Guide to Capitalism and Socialism With a Key to the Scriptures