Stage Review - From TV to Film to Stage: FROST/NIXON in Mixed Media Messages

When I was a teenager I came home one night a little wasted and with my father watched David Frost interview Truman Capote. It seemed to me Frost was a little buzzed as well, and Capote was fucked up and charming and hilarious and entertaining in his particularly self promoting confessional way. It was a pop culture confession. And that is something we are now so familiar with. There's no end of celebrity's who use television to apologize to as many as they can in the shortest possible time.

In FROST/NIXON, there's a moment after Frost get's Nixon to accept some measure of culpability, when they freeze the screen, hovering above the stage, that has been broadcasting the interview simultaneously to it's being played out live on stage. One of the peripheral characters steps out and tells us that this closeup- this image- was and is the defining moment of our collective perspective on Nixon.

Yeah, I don't know. At that moment in American history- maybe. I don't remember. And my head is too filled with the second third and fourth acts of important people being caught with their pants down to trust a video image. I was talking to a criminal defense attorney the other night and he said the things prosecutors can do now with digital video confessions are phenomenal and render the whole process suspect.

Alright, I just figured out my point. Go to the live theatre. Trust what you see and what you here in the room you are in and even then be careful. My kids ask me when we watch tv if "those people are real"; cartoons, sports, the news it doesn't matter, same question.

I explain, but they haven't quite got it yet. Maybe I still don't get it.

- J.Kamal

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