Checkers, With Anthony LaPaglia as a Young Dick Nixon, Opens in NYC
By Kenneth Jones
Checkers, Douglas McGrath's new play about Richard Nixon at a momentous period in his political career, opens Nov. 8 at Off-Broadway's Vineyard Theatre following a delay due to Hurricane Sandy. Terry Kinney directs Tony Award winner Anthony LaPaglia (A View From the Bridge) as Nixon and Tony nominee Kathryn Erbe (The Speed of Darkness) as his wife, Pat.
Like other theatres in downtown Manhattan the week of Oct. 29, Vineyard went dark for several days due to a storm-related power outage. The original opening night was to be Oct. 31. The run of Oscar nominee McGrath's play has been extended to Dec. 2.
The cast also includes Kelly Coffield Park, Joel Marsh Garland, Kevin O'Rourke, John Ottovino, Mark Shanahan, Lewis J. Stadlen and Robert Stanton.
McGrath co-wrote the screenplay to "Bullets Over Broadway" with Woody Allen, earning an Academy Award nomination for the original screenplay. Kinney directed Broadway's reasons to be pretty.
According to Off-Broadway's Vineyard, "It's 1952. A young Richard Nixon is campaigning as his party's candidate for Vice-President — his wife, Pat, proudly at his side — when an accusation of financial impropriety almost ends his promising career. In a momentous speech, he takes charge of his fate, and changes the character of American politics forever. Checkers is a revelatory look at Nixon's drive, history, and most surprisingly, his marriage to Pat — all of which are explored with insight, blistering wit and unexpected tenderness."
The creative team includes Neil Patel (scenic design), Sarah J. Holden (costume design), David Weiner (lighting design), Rob Milburn & Michael Bodeen (music and sound design) and Darrel Maloney (projection design).
Vineyard Theatre is located at 108 E. 15th St., near Union Square.
For more information, visit vineyardtheatre.org.
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