Angels in America is the story of WASP lawyer Prior Walter and those surrounding his life. Prior has just been diagnosed with AIDS, and his life crumbles over the course of the play while various subplots handle themes as diverse as McCarthyism, the Rosenberg trials, and religious prophecy. The play is a seminal work of the state of gay culture and closeted culture in middle-class America, as well as a unique look at San Franciscos's history.
The second part of Angels in America, Perestroika, sees Prior, a gay man with AIDS, encountering an angel while his lover, Louis, runs off with a Mormon man, Joe. The angel tells Prior that it's his job to put an end to human progress. The play continues the themes explored in the first part, with characters questioning their identities. It also adds a spiritual element, with the character of the angel, as well as a social commentary that suggests that humankind has a long way to go but can improve.
Part one of the play Angels in America, Millenium Approaches, focuses on the intertwining fates and overlapping storylines of two couples, Prior and Louis and Joe and Harper. Prior has just learned he has AIDs and is now hearing a mysterious voice while Joe, a Mormon, is struggling to accept that he's gay. The play examines identity and what it means to be gay, rich, or Mormon. It also offers a sharp critique of the early days of the AIDs crisis.