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  Play Details

Frost/Nixon

TimeLine Theatre Company
615 W. Wellington Ave Chicago

Frost/Nixon takes audiences inside the real-life 1977 television interviews between journalist David Frost and former president Richard Nixon. It has been three years since Nixon resigned from office in disgrace. The Watergate scandal is still on the minds of many, but the former commander-in-chief has yet to break his silence about his role in those events. Now Nixon has agreed to be interviewed by the up-and-coming British broadcaster David Frost. Behind-the-scenes it’s a battle of egos for the upper hand in controlling history, but as the cameras roll, the world is riveted by a remarkably honest exchange between one man who has lost everything and another with everything to gain.

Thru - Oct 10, 2010



Price: $28-$38

Show Type: Drama

Box Office: 773-281-8463

www.timelinetheatre.com



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  Frost/Nixon Reviews

Chicago Tribune - Highly Recommended

"...I wish there were more juicy plays like “Frost/Nixon,” combining elements of Greek tragedy, politics and tabloid journalism. But I think TimeLine will have a big and deserved success with this production. It’s much less flashy, certainly, than the Broadway version, which has its price. But with the help of the brilliant videographer Mike Tutaj, Contey still makes the point that Frost triumphed because he understood TV, and that politics and showbiz were, to Nixon’s chagrin, becoming one and the same."
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Chris Jones


Chicago Sun Times - Highly Recommended

"...Frost/Nixon, now in a super-smart, tremendously entertaining Chicago premiere by TimeLine Theatre, is British playwright Peter Morgan's savvy and altogether fascinating account of the extensive series of interviews Frost conducted with Nixon in 1977. Those sessions (edited down to four 90-minute programs) covered many facets of Nixon's presidency and character. But from the start, Frost and his principal advisers on the project knew their focus would be on the Watergate scandal, and on Nixon's involvement in this illegal action and coverup that forced him to resign from the presidency and retreat in shame -- with no apology offered to an upended nation."
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Hedy Weiss


The Wall Street Journal - Highly Recommended

"...Kudos to Mr. Hamilton, by the way, for not being intimidated by Mr. Langella's example: His Nixon is a wholly individual creation, as self-protective as an angry turtle that pokes its head out of its shell no more than is necessary. He's definitely the star of TimeLine's "Frost/Nixon," but the rest of the show is more than worthy of him."
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Terry Teachout


Examiner - Recommended

"...In dramatizing all this, Morgan created a talky piece that seems to stretch in order to maintain a sense of dramatic tension in the 90 minutes leading up to that climactic denouement. Here, there that problem is compounded by Terry Hamilton’s less than fully-fleshed out Nixon. This is Tricky Dick by way of vocal tics and physical mannerisms; the soul of the man remains a cipher. The turbulent darkness historians have written so much about is largely absent."
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Catey Sullivan


Chicago Reader - Highly Recommended

"...Louis Contey's taut staging turns what could be sensationalized pseudo-history into engaging, exhilarating drama, reminding us that the downfall of statesmen wasn't always the province of reality television--it once had tragic dimensions. Terry Hamilton's Nixon is choleric, yet oddly touching in his occasional verbal clumsiness; Andrew Carter's Frost goes from bespoke peacock to Grand Inquistor-in-spite-of-himself with convincing subtlety. The supporting cast are also on their toes, and Mike Tutaj's seamless video design allows the show both to critique and exploit the mediacentrism of politics without overpowering the nearly pitch-perfect onstage dynamics."
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Kerry Reid


NewCity Chicago - Recommended

"...The play was a hit both in London and on Broadway, with Michael Sheen as Frost and Frank Langella as Nixon; the same actors showed up in Ron Howard’s 2008 film adaptation, which I liked quite a lot. This is the first time the play has seen a Chicago production (under the sharp, clean direction of Louis Contey for TimeLine), and it is packed with enough sideburns and three-piece corduroy suits to satisfy any seventies nostalgist."
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Nina Metz


Copley News Service - Highly Recommended

"...Whether the play gives Nixon a partial pass on his transgressions is beside the point. Morgan wasn’t writing a documentary, he was writing a play about people in conflict and about the power of the media, especially television, to shape public debate through one dimensional images."

Dan Zeff


Centerstage - Highly Recommended

"...This production's strength lies, not only in Morgan's powerful script, but in its uniformly talented cast (Terry Hamilton's Nixon is spot on and Andrew Carter is a charming Frost) and its simple, versatile set, featuring Mike Tutaj's evocative projections and stunning live camera feed. This is an intimate enough theatre space, but Tutaj's video screen towers and giant close-ups bring the emotional ups and downs right into the audience's lap."
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Colin Douglas


Chicago Stage Review - Not Recommended

"...Director Louis Contey has crafted a production with admirable peripheral value, but one that lacks the ability to convey the intellectual and interpersonal complexity of Morgan’s script. Theatrical posturing and lackluster melodrama are substituted for honest dramatic tension and climax, resulting in a rendering of history that is as artificial as Nixon’s halfhearted admission of presidential culpability."
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Venus Zarris


Time Out Chicago - Highly Recommended

"... On top of its complex relation to the present, Frost/Nixon also offers a completely compelling confrontation between two men at the top of their game: It’s a little surprising that Ron Howard filmed the play, because it’s tailor-made for Michael Mann. Contey’s production is a stunner, stylish and hard-hitting. It’s driven by two ferocious performances at its center. As Frost, Carter presents an unflappable exterior, concealing a tenaciously competitive spirit. Ruthless, brilliant and unerringly self-destructive, Nixon is the role of a career, and Hamilton delivers; replicating the famous slouch and jowly articulation, his performance piles feint upon feint, only occasionally revealing the vicious and wounded animal beneath."
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John Beer


Chicago Theater Beat - Highly Recommended

"...TimeLine Theatre’s Frost/Nixon digs deep into the psyche of one of our most notorious presidents. Yes, Nixon may not have been an honest man, nor was he necessarily a decent or good man. But he was a man. And although this does not forgive his transgressions, it helps us better understand his weaknesses."

Keith Ecker


ChicagoCritic - Highly Recommended

"...TimeLine theatre specializes in exploring history and stimulating conversation about political matters. The sure have given us much to talk about with Frost/Nixon. Younger audiences will learn much about Nixon in this marvelously well written and well staged play. Hamilton and Carter were amazing."
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Tom Williams


Chicago Stage Standard - Highly Recommended

"...Staged by Louis Contey like a cultured cagematch combat, Peter Morgan’s deft drama sets up the stakes in this gladiatorial combat between a smooth but shallow interviewer and the notoriously slippery “Tricky Dick.” Matthew Brumlow represents one side of the ideological conflict as Nixon-hating journalist Jim Reston. As his adversarial co-narrator, David Parkes is ramrod rigid as Jack Brennan, Nixon’s chief of staff and pit bull-like protector. In between are the principals—Andrew Carter’s dogged and driven Frost, a novice as a pundit (he never voted in an election) but as eager to achieve fame as Nixon is to restore it; and Terry Hamilton’s uncannily accurate Nixon, a jowly scoundrel who’s haunted by failure and secretly wants to come clean about his own corruption. They become memorable opponents as the play takes on an almost operatic intensity."

Lawrence Bommer


Around The Town Chicago - Highly Recommended

"...This is a powerful, behind the scenes look at the “game” and how each one played his hand. Nixon took on the interview partly for his ego but more for the money and possibly a chance to regain the public’s love and trust. Frost, invested all he had for th eopportunity to become a television personality in America. During this smartly written piece, we get to watch the game, seeing times when Frost appears to have lost it all, his staff thinking he has mis-handled the entire taping, but in the long run, Frost , as history shows us was the victor. Timeline’s intimate venue is a perfect space for this production as the audience is up close and personal, almost making us feel that we were present at the taping and in their meetings. This was an historical event for the American public, many of which were glued to their TV sets and with this production we get a deeper feeling for each of the men and their motives for this major event in TV history."
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Alan Bresloff


   This show has been Jeff Recommended*

*The designation of "Jeff Recommended" is given to a production when at least ONE ELEMENT of the show was deemed outstanding by the opening night judges of The Joseph Jefferson Awards Committee. The entire production is then eligible for nomination for awards at the end of the season.
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