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Legendary Impersonator Rich Little Impeaches Richard Nixon Beginning August 5; And There’s More

By: Ellis Nassour     

August 1, 2021: Legendary voice impersonator, TV star, and long-time Las Vegas legend Rich Little, 82 years young, just can’t keep his mouth shut, but this time, finally making his Off-Broadway debut, is taking on Richard Nixon in Trial on the Potomac: The Impeachment of Richard Nixon by George Bugatt. The engagements runs August 5 (Opening Night/August 6) – September 4 at Theatre at St Clements (423 West 46th Street, between Ninth and Tenth Avenues). All performances are at 7 P.M. The play is premiering after a pandemic delay from May 2020. 

Legendary Impersonator Rich Little Impeaches Richard Nixon Beginning August 5; And There’s More

By: Ellis Nassour     

August 1, 2021: Legendary voice impersonator, TV star, and long-time Las Vegas legend Rich Little, 82 years young, just can’t keep his mouth shut, but this time, finally making his Off-Broadway debut, is taking on Richard Nixon in Trial on the Potomac: The Impeachment of Richard Nixon by George Bugatt. The engagements runs August 5 (Opening Night/August 6) – September 4 at Theatre at St Clements (423 West 46th Street, between Ninth and Tenth Avenues). All performances are at 7 P.M. The play is premiering after a pandemic delay from May 2020. 

Trial on the Potomac is presented by the Times Square Theatre Group (Josh Iacovelli, director) and Bugatti with associate producer Jerry Rosenberg.

The play is inspired by Geoff Shepard’s book The Real Watergate Scandal. Shepard, who is the play’s technical consultant, has an interesting past from his days working in the Nixon White during the Watergate crisis.

In addition to Little as President Richard Nixon, the cast of historic characters include Supreme Court Justice Warren Burger, John Dean,  H. R. Halderman, G. Gordon Liddy, and Diane Sawyer (yes, that Diane Sawyer).

Besides the entertainer named “The Man of a Thousand Voices,” the featured cast includes Paul Caliendo, Victor Colicchio, James Gavin, Tom Gregory, Matthew Hammond, Kelsey Lea Jones, Chris Lazzaro, Nick Mauldin, John Ramaine, Chris Rojas, Troy Sill, Lou Vitulli. and. Richard Wingert

Trial on the Potomac is set against one of the nation’s most notorious scandals. It asks “What if Nixon hadn’t resigned?”Bugatti describes it as “edge-of-the-seat, powerful theater that brings to vivid light Shepard’s real-life findings, and newly-discovered evidence, to reveal a conspiracy aimed at destroying the Nixon presidency.”

Master comic Rich Little, infamous for skewering political figures, has a repertory of more than 200 voices, including Presidents: John F. Kennedy, Lyndon Johnson, Richard Nixon, Gerald Ford, Jimmy Carter, Ronald Reagan, Bill Clinton, both George Bushes, Barack Obama, Donald Trump, and Joe Biden. President Reagan told little, “You do me better than I do.” As a result, Little entertained at both his inaugurations. Little, for three decades, was synonymous with the Las Vegas Strip and was one of its highest paid performers.    

Tickets for Trial on the Potomac: The Impeachment of Richard Nixon are  $78.50 – $98.50 and available at  www.telecharge.com/Off-Broadway/Trial-on-the-Potomac-The-Impeachment-of-Ricard-Nixon/Overview.

Check out Little’s recent segment on CBS Sunday Morning:

Rich Little: Still making a great impression – YouTube

Now the Guys Get to Tell Their Stories

A Wonderful Guy: Conversations with the Great Men of Musical Theater (Oxford University Press; 368 pages; Illustrated; Index; SRP $39.95 – Foreword by Laura Benanti) by Eddie Shapiro, author of Nothing Like a Dame: Conversations with the Great Women of Musical  Theater.

Those on the hot sear are veterans such Len Carious, John Cullum, and Joel Grey and recent-to-the-stage such as Gavin Creel and Jonathan Groff. The line-up of marquee names also includes Norman Leo Butz, Michael Cerveris,Raul Esparza, Marc Kudisch, Norm Lewis, Brian Stokes Mitchell, Christopher Sieber, and Ben Vereen. These are no-stone-left-unturned slices of their lives – some run up to 20 pages and include production stills and career overviews. 

Shapiro digs deep and up-close-and-personal with 19 revealing leading men of the last five decades. The interviews are crammed-with-fascinating-details from the early stages of their careers right up to curtain time. Favorite leading ladies come up frequently. Marc Shaiman hits the nail right on the head with his take: “It’s like being with them at their shrink sessions, in the confessional booth, and at a table at Joe Allen’s all at the same time. The next times I see these gentlemen of the theater, I will feel like I’ve seen them all naked.”  

How About a Visit to the Follies?

One of M-G-M’s most lavish productions about one of New York and show business’ most lavish and long-running stage productions, Ziegfeld Follies(Warner Bros. Archive Collection; 1945; 117 minutes), finally arrives totally-remastered on Blu-Ray in vivid Technicolor. The literal cast of thousands is headlined by Fred Astaire, Lucille Ball, Fannie Brice, Cyd Charisee, Judy Garland, Kathryn Grayson, Lena Horne, Gene Kelly, and William Powell (The Thin Man legend as the legendary Ziegfeld),   

From the far reaches of Heaven, showman Flo Ziegfeld recalls his first Broadway revue, the Ziegfeld Follies of 1907. His fantasy is a Who’s Who of Golden Age Hollywood talent in one show-stopping production number after another. Judy and Lena sing, Esther, of course, swims. There’s even opera! One of the dance highlights is the first-ever pairing of Astaire and Kelly.

Produced under the aegis of M-G-M’s (Arthur) Freed Unit, it took seven directors, four choreographers, and 40 writers and songsmiths, including John Murray Anderson, Ralph Blane,  Eddie Cantor, Roger Edens, E.Y. Harburg,  Hugh Martin, Max Liebman, Red Skelton, Kay Thompson and George White (he of the Scandals) to bring Ziegfeld Follies to the screen.