The fascinating original production "Blind Date" lights up the stage at Goodman Theatre through Feb. 25.
"Blind Date" offers an interesting look at 1980s political figures Ronald Reagan and Mikhail Gorbachev and the Cold War time period.
Through a look at the political giants and their wives and other characters we get a witty and comical view of the era through pop culture and other topics. Playwright Rogelio Martinez's script is filled with creative twists and well-written dialogue that capture an audience member's attention.
"Blind Date," directed by Goodman's artistic director Robert Falls, stars Rob Riley as Reagan; William Dick as Gorbachev; Deanna Dunagan as Nancy Reagan; Mary Beth Fisher as Raisa Gorbachev; along with others in the cast.
In a news release about the play, writer Martinez said, "I hope audiences will leave the theater with some hope — and not just hope but agency — that they as individuals can do something about today's problems."
The production features a clever and creative set designed by Riccardo Hernandez. Others on the creative team include costume designer Amy Clark, lighting designer Aaron Spivey and sound designer Richard Woodbury.
Riley and Dick offer admirable performances of the two leaders. But it is Dunagan and Fisher, as Nancy and Raisa, who are the shining stars of this production.
A scene in which Nancy and Raisa are shown in a drawing room waiting for their husbands, who are meeting, is a highlight of the show and extremely witty and humorous.
Martinez grew up in Cuba after the 1962 Cuban Missile Crisis. About his play, Martinez said, "This is not speculative fiction, not a 'what-if' story, the events in the play did occur, but maybe not exactly in the same way as they occur on stage. It's my job to present a set of characters and let audiences arrive at a conclusion of their own."