Glenn Close To Play Roy Cohn In All-Star ‘Angels In America’ Benefit; Cast Includes Laura Linney, Patti LuPone, Brian Tyree Henry, S. Epatha Merkerson, Paul Dano, Others

An all-star digital performance of scenes from Tony Kushner’s Angels in America, benefiting amFAR’s COVID-19 fund, will feature Glenn Close as Roy Cohn, with other roles from the Pulitzer Prize-winning play performed by, among others, Laura Linney, Patti LuPone, S. Epatha Merkerson, Brian Tyree Henry, Paul Dano, Andrew Rannells and Slave Play playwright Jeremy O. Harris.

The 60-minute livestream benefit for the Foundation for AIDS Research (amfAR) Fund to Fight Covid-19 and titled The Great Work Begins: Scenes from ‘Angels in America’, will feature seven scenes selected for their focus on the experience of living through a plague, according to amFAR. The free event – made up of self-filmed performances woven together – will stream Thursday Oct. 8 at 8:30 pm ET on the YouTube channel.

A donation of $100 or more will provide access to a 45-minute live conversation immediately following the performance, featuring Kushner, several cast members, director Ellie Heyman-Director, amFAR CEO Kevin Robert Frost, and moderator Paul Wontorek of

Some of the Angels characters will be played by more than one performer: Henry, Dano and Rannells will perform scenes as Prior Walter; Harris, Merkerson and Larry Owens as Belize; Lois Smith and Vella Lovell as Harper Pitt; Linney as Hannah Pitt; and, as the various angels, LuPone, Linda Emond, Nikki M. James and Daphne Rubin-Vega. Brandon Uranowitz will play Louis Ironson, and Alan Cumming and Jake Gyllenhaal will make special appearances.

AmFAR’s Frost said in a statement, “We are honored and deeply grateful to be partnering with the brilliant Tony Kushner on this timely reprise of what is considered to be the most profound and poignant artistic exploration of the AIDS crisis. Angels is an intensely personal work that is so much more than just an AIDS play. In this time of COVID and national unrest, its themes of racism and government failings make it as relevant and resonant today as it was when it was first performed 30 years ago. We are deeply indebted to the supremely gifted actors who have so graciously donated their time and talents to bring this mesmerizing production to life and to support the amfAR Fund to Fight COVID-19. And we applaud the vision, skill and industry of the creative team, led by theater director Ellie Heyman, composer Ellis Ludwig-Leone, award-winning production designer Paul Tate dePoo III, and TBD Creative Media. Bravo!”

Watch a teaser trailer for The Great Work Begins: Scenes from ‘Angels in America’ above.

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