Glenn Close, Jake Gyllenhaal headline 'Angels in America' benefit

Glenn Close will read the role of Roy Cohn in a live benefit performance of scenes from Angels in America. File Photo by Jim Ruymen/UPI
Glenn Close will read the role of Roy Cohn in a live benefit performance of scenes from "Angels in America." File Photo by Jim Ruymen/UPI | License Photo

Sept. 25 (UPI) -- confirmed Friday an all-star cast for The Great Work Begins: Scenes from Angels in America. The live event will occur Oct. 8 at 8:30 p.m. EDT on's YouTube Channel to benefit amfAR's Fund to Fight COVID-19.

In an announcement on's website, Angels in America playwright Tony Kushner and director Ellie Heyman announced the cast. Glenn Close, Paul Dano, Jeremy O. Harris, Brian Tyree Henry, Laura Linney, Patti LuPone, S. Epatha Merkerson, Andrew Rannells, Daphne Rubin-Vega and more make up the cast.


Deadline confirmed that Close would play the role of Roy Cohn. also teased special appearances by Alan Cumming, Jake Gyllenhaal and Whoopi Goldberg.

Kushner, Heyman and the cast will participate in a Q&A following the 60 minute reading of seven select scenes.

"I'm praying that the novel coronavirus will prove easier to obliterate than HIV," Kushner said in a statement. "I know we'll all do whatever's required to defeat this scourge, and I know that amfAR, as it always has been, will be there in the heat of battle with us."


Angels in America was a two-part play about AIDS and the LGBTQ community. Part 1 premiered in 1991 and Part 2 in 1993. HBO produced a miniseries adaptation in 2003 starring Al Pacino as Roy Cohn, and costarring Mary-Louise Parker, Justin Kirk, Jeffrey Wright, Patrick Wilson, Meryl Streep, Emma Thompson and James Cromwell.

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