By Adam Hetrick
The Tony Award- and Pulitzer Prize-winning Angels in America playwright is at work on several projects, including a play about President Donald Trump and a musical with Jeanine Tesori.
Angels in America playwright Tony Kushner teased several upcoming and in-the-works projects in an interview with the Daily Beast, including a new musical and a drama about President Donald Trump set two years before the election.
Kushner is unsure whether the play will debut by the time Trump completes his first term in office. Like Angels in America, its political implications may take on a deeper resonance when viewed through the lens of historic perspective, he said.
His other projects include a new musical about the death of Eugene O’Neill, which reunites him with his Caroline, or Change collaborator Jeanine Tesori. The two have been exploring O’Neill’s life for the past several years; their one-act opera A Blizzard on Marblehead Neck (also about a moment in O’Neill’s life) premiered at Glimmerglass in 2011.
On screen, Kushner is again collaborating with Munich and Lincoln director Steven Spielberg on a new screen adaptation of the Broadway classic West Side Story. Kushner says that the setting and the score (which he calls “the greatest score of a musical ever written”) will remain untouched, but he is deepening the emotional experience between Tony and Maria.
“I’m interested that we see love at first sight, as opposed to lust at first sight,” Kushner said. “By the time they’re singing ‘Maria’ and ‘Tonight’ things are at a much deeper plane than just two horny kids.”
His film projects also include a screenplay about late Civil Rights pioneer Barbara Johns for Viola Davis, as well as The Kidnapping of Edgardo Mortara, with Mark Rylance and Oscar Isaac attached to star.