History as melodrama. This exciting production, recorded before a live audience, dramatizes the Washington Post’s struggle with the Nixon administration over the publication of the Pentagon Papers. Much of the dialogue is lifted straight from the historical record. Whether or not this is accurate history, it certainly makes excellent theater, reminiscent of the agitprop (agitation/propaganda) and Living Newspaper plays of the Depression. John Rubenstein has directed his fine ensemble to play broadly and to maintain that thrill of immediacy that surely informed the actions of the actual participants. Present, too, is the humor, intentional and otherwise, that forms an important part of the story, none of it lost on a sharp and enthusiastic house. A riveting subject is given its due.
Learn more about the Pentagon Papers in Secrets by Daniel Ellsberg.
(P)1994 L.A. Theatre Works; All Rights Reserved
This very entertaining piece provides the novice & the knowledgeable with excellent material on the actual circumstances of the Pentagon Papers & the high drama of the fight over their publication. It is a good introduction to the issues, necessarily superficial given its length & format, but hopefully a teaser to learning more about Vietnam, Nixon's shenanigans, Ellsberg, press freedom & the US Constitution. For those wanting to go on to the next step in learning, I strongly recommend "Inside the Pentagon Papers," Prados & Porter, University of Kansas Press.
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