Nixon's Nixon, the two-character fictional speculation of a genuine, but private, meeting between President Richard Nixon and Secretary of State Henry Kissinger, opens April 8 at Actors Theatre of Louisville's arena-style Bingham Theatre.
The satire by Russell Lees -- which has power games aplenty, with Kissinger assuming roles of Chairman Mao, JFK and others -- began previews April 6 and continues to May 30 starring ATL favorite William McNulty as Nixon and Jonathan Bustle as Kissinger.
The play takes place on the eve of Nixon's 1974 resignation. The work replaces the previously-announced Travels With My Aunt as the sixth play of the ATL's 35th season.
ATL literary manager Michael Dixon, who is so intimately involved with the theatre's annual Humana Festival of New American Plays, makes his ATL mainstage directorial debut with Nixon's Nixon. Actor McNulty is an ATL regular who starred as an 80-year-old southern TV preacher in Humana's February-March hit, God's Man in Texas. Bustle is making is ATL debut.
"It's hard to write a play about Nixon and not be funny," Lees has said. "But it's also hard to write a play about Nixon and not be sad. The pathos is in the man himself and not in the actions he took." Designers are Tom Burch (recreating the Lincoln room, where the real life meeting took place), Kevin McLeod (costumes), Pip Gordon (lights), Ben Hohman (props) and Malcolm Nicholls (sound).
Tickets are $12-$34. Call (800) 4-ATL-TIX. ATL's website is at www.actorstheatre.org.
-- By Kenneth Jones