Best (theatrically speaking) political farce (2000)

Nixon's Nixon

While Russell Lees's imagined conversation between Richard Nixon and his secretary of state, Henry Kissinger, might have seemed like ancient history to the younger set, the Aurora Fox's production resonated with older viewers who, having been subjected to Tricky Dick's endless television appearances, learned to think of his sweaty upper lip as the equivalent of Pinocchio's growing nose. Duane Black's Nixon and Gregory Price's Kissinger riotously pointed up the dynamic between pygmy-warrior king and Machiavellian power-grubber while evoking decades-old feelings about being robbed of our trust in government by the man who kept insisting, "I am not a crook!" Luckily for Fox audience members, the only thing that got stolen during this enjoyable production was the halftime bathroom break -- a situation that prompted a few patrons to pop out of the theater whenever they got the urge. Evidently, director Bev Newcomb-Madden's well-staged regional premiere was vivid enough that some folks thought they were watching the country unravel once more on television.


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