The World Only Spins Forward: The Ascent of Angels in America

The World Only Spins Forward: The Ascent of Angels in America

The oral history of Angels in America, told by artists who created it and audiences forever changed by it-a moving account of the AIDS era, essential queer history, and an exuberant backstage tale When Tony Kushner's Angels in America hit Broadway in 1993, it won the Pulitzer Prize, swept the Tonys, and changed the way gay lives were represented in popular culture. Mike Nic The oral history of Angels in America, told by artists who created it and audiences forever changed by it-a moving ac...

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Title:The World Only Spins Forward: The Ascent of Angels in America
Author:Isaac Butler
Rating:
Genres:Nonfiction
ISBN:The World Only Spins Forward: The Ascent of Angels in America
ISBN
Edition Language:English
Format Type:Hardcover
Number of Pages:448 pages pages

The World Only Spins Forward: The Ascent of Angels in America Reviews

  • Simon
    May 09, 2018
    The book is an absolutely essential aid to reading the play. On a personal note (I live in the area, and was doing theatre at the time), it also included a section about the notorious Charlotte Rep production in the mid-90s. People interviewed include Perry Tannenbaum, longtime drama c...
  • Martha
    Jun 01, 2019
    Extraordinary. A must read for theater lovers. ...
  • Greg Heaton
    Dec 23, 2018
    I've read two 'oral histories' all the way through and they're an awful format. Context is completely lost after a page. Secondary characters drift away. It's just a maddening, baffling format. Someone will probably write a staggeringly great book about the making of, history and im...
  • Danny
    Apr 29, 2018
    A sweeping portrait, impeccably assembled and endlessly moving & inspiring. ...
  • Lorri Steinbacher
    Feb 20, 2018
    Compelling oral history that highlights just how strongly this play affected the people involved in the various productions of it, the audiences, and the world at large. Its continuing impact cannot be overstated. The structure of the book is excellent: interviews with the actors, dire...
  • Jackie
    May 26, 2018
    This was honestly one of the most pleasurable reading experiences of my life, like eavesdropping on a conversation at a dinner party. Or randomly sitting next to someone you've long-admired on a plane. This book made me want to go out and create. ...
  • CarolineFromConcord
    Mar 21, 2018
    The authors of this history of "Angels in America" (a seven-hour play now 25 years old) and the world from which it grew interviewed scores of people and organized their often powerful words in script form. It was challenging to keep track of who the speakers were, and I kept flipping ...
  • Traci at The Stacks
    Jan 29, 2019
    A total dream for a theater geek like me. I loved the format of oral history and hearing so much about an icon play over 30+ years. If you love theater craft and history this book is all that and more. It went on long sometimes and often lacked context...which is also the nature of the...
  • Monica
    Feb 23, 2018
    A brilliant, sprawling, entertaining oral history of a brilliant, sprawling, entertaining play phenomenon. And I say this not just because I?m quoted in it. ...
  • Becky Loader
    Dec 07, 2018
    Butler spent an exhaustive amount of time interviewing people who were involved in getting "Angels in America" onto the stage. Unfortunately, he used a very choppy style which lists the person first (and try to keep all those people straight--even if he does identify who they are when ...
  • Dara
    Apr 22, 2018
    I literally highlighted half of this book on my Kindle. And I have a paper copy. It's fine. ...
  • Tim Pinckney
    Apr 30, 2018
    I flew through this book. For anyone who is interested in theatre and the creative process - writing, directing, acting - it's all here in a riveting oral history. It's something I'm sure I'll come back to again. ...
  • Kevin
    Mar 02, 2018
    Theater director Isaac Butler and writer/editor Dan Kois have created a compelling, surprising and inspiring oral history of Tony Kushner's Pulitzer Prize-winning play, "Angels in America." They weave together the recollections of more than 240 actors, playwrights, critics, theater ins...
  • Katy
    Mar 22, 2018
    I loved the wide range of voices and themes in this oral history, a beautiful and moving tribute to the greatest American play of all time. It?s impossible for me to be objective about something I love so much, but this is a fascinating dive into the complexities of the play?s evol...
  • Jeff
    Feb 19, 2018
    Oral histories are eminently bingeable. Like binge-until-you're-queasyworthy. But most of the oral histories I've read have been about subjects like Saturday Night Live, full of gossip and anecdots about a subject I know a lot about. Angels in America, on the other hand, I'm only s...
  • Becky
    Apr 15, 2019
    The World Only Spins Forward is brilliantly structured, walking through the creation and chronologizing the production history of Angels in America, and spliced through with interludes which dive deep on each of the characters in the cast. The oral history style means that the book is ...
  • Alyssa Lentz
    Feb 28, 2018
    Wow, I enjoyed this SO MUCH. It really opened up elements of the play for me that I didn't fully understand before and communicated how much of an impact it had. I loved the oral history format and I think it really benefitted from the different perspectives throughout. I also thought ...
  • Jill Meyer
    Feb 15, 2018
    There are very few theatrical productions that both recount the change of history and make that recount a change in itself. "Angels in America: A Gay Fantasia on National Themes" by Tony Kushner is one such production. Appearing in the mid-1980's and continuing to this day, Kushner's p...
  • Jeff Santilli
    Mar 19, 2018
    I absolutely loved this book and could reread it immediately. I highly recommend this book to anyone interested in theatre and its creation. The interviews revealed new layers of meaning and ways of thinking about the play, and made me even more excited to see it again. ...
  • Kari
    Mar 07, 2018
    My first book of the year, and it was a great one. It was so fascinating to read about the birth and ascent of my all-time favorite play. ...
  • Tom Metz
    Aug 04, 2018
    What a thrill to be gifted with a book of backstage stories about the greatest play ever written, stories reported by the principals themselves. It's actually more than just backstage stories, it's also thoughtful analysis by people like Frank Rich and Tony Kushner himself, and Tony Ta...
  • Peter Mcloughlin
    Jul 03, 2019
    I wanted to like this but the format was annoying. It is like reading a youtube comment thread. Really hard to pay attention. Format matters. ...
  • Dave
    May 27, 2018
    If you are reading, working on a production, or planning to see "Angels in America" this book will be helpful. I did gain some insight into some of the themes and the structure of the plays. But the structure of the BOOK was a bit chaotic. It was like being in a large room with a bunch...
  • John
    Oct 15, 2018
    well written ...
  • Doug
    Feb 27, 2018
    4.5, rounded up. Considering I read this over 400 page book in less than 24 hours, it would be disingenuous of me to give it anything less than 5 stars. There are definite problems with both the book AND its subject, but structuring over 250 oral interviews into a consistently informat...
  • Breanna
    May 05, 2019
    More 3.5/5 ? Overall, this was an enjoyable read. I've never read an oral history before so I had to get use to a story being told solely through dialogue. I think it was really well done, though. Anyone could read this an enjoy it but I wouldn't read it without having some knowle...
  • Harry McDonald
    Jun 01, 2018
    I got through >400 pages in 26ish hours, so this gets 5 stars. The World Only Spins Forward is an oral history of the context, inception, premiere, and legacy of Tony Kushner's Angels in America, with the contributions of many people who have been involved with and touched by thi...
  • Abigail Van Alyn
    Oct 19, 2018
    Since I'm a character in the story of the hard birth and subsequent wild but not always fun ride of Angels in America, it's hard to be objective. I can only comment on the form, a stream of interviews along the play's thirty-year timeline. This choice allows for all the voices to be he...
  • John Ferreira
    Jun 11, 2019
    This book should be required reading for anyone in theater. Be it an actor, a director, or especially a playwright. It's rare that anyone gets to find out about the process of creating a play, and going through the process of rehearsing and presenting it. Even if the play is not a new ...
  • elle buss
    Dec 15, 2018
    it only took me six months, but i finally finished this!! i promise, i really enjoyed reading this, despite the length of time it took me. this is perfect for any fans of angels in america that want to analyze the characters, different productions, and the cultural impact of the show! ...