Frost Nixon

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Every season, if you are lucky, there is one play that stands out in the crowd.  Blackbird is a close second but Frost Nixon wins by more than a nose. 

After Nixon resigned from office, David Frost was the first person to interview Nixon.  Eleven interviews were conducted on the topics of Vietnam, Nixon the person, Foreign Policy and Watergate.  The country was a mess, Nixon was pardoned and the American people needed some type of closure. 

The story behind the interviews is one that I knew nothing about.  Although we all know in the end, Frost was able to get Nixon to admit that there was a cover-up and tell the American people how truly sorry he was that he put a stain on not only the Presidency but politics as a whole. 

On a side note, the entire interview only cost $600k which was unheard of at that time.  Mike Wallace offered $250K.  The total amount of ad revenue end up generating $2M.  That seems like a mere pittance to today. 

What was also interesting to relive this event now is not only the timing (our current administration) but how at that time TV was changing politics.  Frost and his group understood that.  They understood the importance of the close up and how to use TV to their advantage.  Frost wasn’t a journalist, he was a talk show host, one of the highest order.  He got TV and he also had a bit of luck.  In many ways, these interviews were part of a healing process for not only America but for Nixon.  He never returned to politics and to this day corruption in Government are equated with his Presidency. 

The acting is superb.  Frank Langella is Nixon and Michael Sheen is Frost, literally.  Their mannerisms, their body language, their accents, everything.  Impressive.   

Behind us was an elderly couple who kept commenting throughout the play.  They were incredibly loud to the point that I would find it hard to believe that the actors did not hear them too.  But, their comments were funny.  "He is really good", "I don’t remember Nixon that tall", "Good actor", "Did this really happen", "This is just like Bush", etc.  They absolutely enjoyed the play, as it was apparent so did everyone after the long standing ovation.

If you get a chance to get a ticket, grab it.  One of the best plays not only in this past year but over the past few years.  Very memorable.