As we wrap up our discussion of Tony Kushner’s Angels in America in today’s Writing New York lecture, we’ll be talking in part about what Kushner gets out of incorporating historical figures such as Roy Cohn and Ethel Rosenberg into his play. Readers who want to get a handle on what Cohn meant in 1988, right about the time Kushner’s play begins to gestate, might check out Cohn’s Life magazine obit. In terms of New York City cultural history, the play situates Cohn most closely within the story of the Rosenberg executions; another place to turn is Cohn’s close association, in the 70s, with the owners of Studio 54 (pictured above). Certainly an individual full of contradictions.
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