'Blind Date' takes on Reagan-Gorbachev meeting at Goodman Theatre

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There's a new play opening at the Goodman Theatre called "Blind Date," but the two people getting together are the leaders of the most powerful nations in the world. (WLS)

There's a new play opening at the Goodman Theatre Saturday called "Blind Date," but the two people getting together are the leaders of the most powerful nations in the world. It's a compelling - but entertaining - look at President Reagan taking on the Soviet Union.

"Blind Date" is a sly take on the Cold-War era's 1985 Reagan/Gorbachev Geneva Summit.

"When we chose to do this play, it was in the aftermath of the election and who really knew what was going on. All I knew was that this was a wonderful play about an America and its relationship to Russia, and at that time and today, we still have quite an interesting relationship between the United States and Russia," director Robert Falls said.

The Reagans are the main characters, with Tony winner Deanna Dunagan as the late First Lady.

"When I see her and I watched a lot of YouTube, she's very contained, and she also gets caught off guard...she's not very comfortable," Dunagan said.

Ronald Reagan is played by Rob Riley.

"I've grown to like him and admire him much more than I did before. If you're an actor, you have to love the character you're playing," Riley said.

This play is written by Rogelio Martinez. As a child he fled Cuba at about the same time his play is set.

"He has this eye and a fascination on politics and international politics but with a really tremendous wry sense of humor and that is what we call this, we call it a slyly comic look at history," Falls said.

Now, a history footnote for those too young to remember: the handshake and embrace at the summit by these two leaders is credited for beginning to end the Cold War. "Blind Date" is at the Goodman through February 25.
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