Nixon in China

What’s the first thing you think of when you hear the name Richard Nixon? It’s that he opened up relations with China, right? Just kidding. We’re sure images of Watergate, crispy napalmed peasants and a slew of pejoratives flood your brain like mind diarrhea. But let’s face it, Nixon actually accomplished a few good things during his one and a half terms (unlike some more recent cartoonish super-villain presidents). Richard Nixon even gave the world one of history’s most surreal moments as he boarded Marine One to leave the White House lawn in disgrace while flashing piece signs. Now we’re fortunate enough to watch another surreal drama unfold, Nixon in China , an opera penned by Pulitzer Prize-winning composer John Adams. With all the intrigue and interpersonal drama of Kissinger, Mao and OC’s own be-jowled statesman, it will be delivered with the bellicose ostentatiousness that’s unique to the opera, along with a generous helping of the strange and unusual. And why not? Orange County is more strange and unusual than people give it credit for.

Sun., March 28, 4 p.m., 2010

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