Duke Law Students Give Musical Nod to Nixon

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DURHAM, N.C. — His name is not on any campus buildings. His only portrait is stored in a locked closet. And after his scandal-driven downfall, Richard M. Nixon was so stigmatized here at Duke University — where he earned a law degree — that the faculty rejected a proposal to house his presidential library.

But last week, the Duke community took a small, uncharacteristic step toward embracing its most infamous graduate — by performing a play about him. “Tricky Dick,” a musical written by Duke Law School students and starring a 50-person ensemble of professors, administrators and students, was performed Friday at a sold-out arts center in downtown Durham.

And now organizers want to make the zany, cabaret-style show an annual tradition.

“In the past, you couldn’t touch Nixon with a 10-foot pole at Duke,” said Slavik Gabinsky, a recent Duke law graduate who helped create the play. “But this is as much about poking fun at Nixon as celebrating him.”...

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