From my intrepid forays around the internet regarding the subject "Angels in Art" - the answer seems to be No.
And if you are mistakenly having an image of cute naked Cupid in your head, here's news: He is actually NOT a cherub. Cherubic, maybe. But a cherub - Nope.
That bare-bottomed winged creature is actually the God of Love or eros in Greco-Roman mythology. I find him an annoying, pesky being. I feel like clipping his wings off and sticking that dastardly arrow up his .... . *evil diva smirk*
Regarding the subject of nudity - angelic or otherwise - some weeks ago, there were murmurings about nudity in Signature Theatre's production of Tony Kushner's "Angels In America" which stars Christian Boyle, Robin Bartlett and our bb, Zachary Quinto, amongst others. The rumour was sparked off (kinda) when Zach himself tweeted a picture of a warning sign for the play (see next pic below).
What followed was a series of breathless gasps and talk about FFN, and several "very concerned" comparisons to Daniel Radcliffe's daring stage role in "Equus". People were beginning to worry that ZQ had the gumption to bare more than his biceps. As if male nudity is something so scandalous? (I know nudity in general, runs against so-called prudish sensibilities of most Asian cultures but I could heatedly argue about that to said culturalists/moralists too.)
I was in Europe some years back and there was a rather serious TV breakfast news feature on prostate cancer. So there he was, this rather handsome male model on screen with his wares dangling out and about, while the doctor standing beside him continued to natter nonchalantly about how proper personal check-ups should be conducted.
At that time, my travel roomie and I were quite amused by the way that culture viewed nudity. We were no prudes and we thoroughly relished that the subject of sex (and sexual organs) was free from its confining reins of taboo and censorship. It was a sight to behold.
So, regarding "Angels in America", I did read on a forum that someone has clarified that were indeed nude scenes in the play but no clear ZQ-FFN's. (Source: BroadwayWorld.com forum) No need to bring your handkerchiefs to shield your virginal eyes or bring your breath inhalers, people.
When the production run opened, the first few shows have been reserved mainly for press reviews and invited guests. The play has been popular with tickets being snapped up very quickly and so, Signature Theatre has decided to extend the run till 20 February 2011. Most ZQ fans that I know have gotten their tickets for November 2010 to January 2011.
There is a particular reviews that is less "fan-squee" which I've gleaned from the internet:
- Welcome to Opinionated B's blog (for Part Two: Perestroika)
and more play attendee reports can be found here on a growing list at ZacharyQuinto UK.
@omhassan7 from Twitter also attended the play recently and she kindly contributed this report for the blog:
"Angels in America" was phenomenal, magnificent, excellente', breathtaking! When I read the play I was looking forward to absorbing each character and feeling the emotions/the energy each character had. Each character was portrayed as a delicate specimen learning and absorbing life as he/she journeyed through understanding him/herself. When Tony Kushner wrote this play I'm sure he didn't think of the play as changing the world, but it did!
I was very pleased with how each actor took the time to study, learn and become his/her character as they performed in "Perestroika". I love theatre to death but these actors made me realize why I love theatre so much and why I am a playwright.
Robin Bartlett is an amazing woman! She had me convinced she was born to play Hannah Pitt. I love her appearance her stage.
I fell in love with Christian Borle's dominance of becoming Prior Walter. I really thought he was Prior and then I had to remember I was watching a play. Bill Heck was so sophisticated with his style in his portrayal of Joe Pitt.
Zoe Kazan lead me to believe she was Harper Pitt. I wanted to be curse Joe out as her sweet innocent looks allowed me to embrace her as Harper more fully and that Harper's innocence as a Mormon seemed to be emotionally felt by Zoe. She was phenomenal!
Billy Porter was one of the main actors I wanted to see portray as Belize. He was so believably awesome, fantastic, hilarious as Belize the diva, that Prior had to be thankful for having him in his life!
Robin Weigert as the "angel" was breathtakingly beautiful! I thought she was an angel for real!
Frank Wood as Roy Cohn was good! He had me in a trance.
Zachary Quinto as Louis Ironson was more than just Louis the bad guy. ZQ was so expressive as Louis he made me feel sympathetic for Louis and I wished Prior could see where Louis was coming from. ZQ as a stage actor is the best thing one can ever experience! He really wanted the audience to feel his love for theatre. The emotions he expressed on stage made me respect him on a whole new level. ZQ's NY theatre debut was magnificent!! He is the new Al Pacino/ Brian Dennehy in theatre.
Where I sat, the production allowed me to absorb all the characters and appreciate the love/ emotions each actor shared with the audience (and with me). For those who think ZQ is always typecast, this is a lie. The people who have invited him to portray these characters know that with his training and talent, he can bring out the emotions and characteristics that need to be seen and expressed. As required and expected by the respective writers.
I had to constantly remind myself over and over again that I was watching a play because the ensemble of actors were so convincing!
Tony Kushner really captivated me with "Angels in America". He is a brilliant man and I will be forever grateful that I was blessed to see his epic work as I embark on my new journey as a playwright.
Note: The new "Angels in America" playbill image right at top, left is by the acclaimed designer Milton Glaser. He also designed the art for the 1993 Broadway production of “Angels”, which is the accompanying image on the right.
Do check out Signature Theatre's "Angels in America" site which has a great list of videos and interviews!
And if you have watched "Angels in America" and want to contribute a report, tweet or email me!