It is the night before President Nixon is to announce his resignation, and he has summoned Secretary of State Henry Kissinger to the Lincoln Sitting Room. Kissinger arrives, expecting to find his President preparing to resign. But Nixon is in the process of wrestling with that very decision. Unstable, nostalgic, garrulous and paranoid, Nixon leads his Secretary of State on a journey through the high moments of his administration and Nixon's past. The journey borders on the surreal as Nixon pressures Kissinger into reenacting crucial scenes: Kissinger plays Nixon, Nixon plays Brezhnev, Kissinger plays Kennedy and Mao—the scenarios become dizzying. Meanwhile, Kissinger is subtly working to convince Nixon to step down so that he can pursue his geopolitical goals—and his own quest for historical glory—unencumbered by a weakened President. Nixon, however, can't face the lonely aftermath of such a decision; he envisions himself "wandering some hellish golf course, waiting to die." As the evening and the drinking progress the two concoct a plan to provoke an international crisis that would allow Nixon to leave office a hero. Kissinger muses, "Sometimes I stare in the mirror. What's happening behind those eyes? I'm astonished. Mystified." Then adds, "I like it." Nixon confides he no longer stares in the mirror, although he did on the way up. He not only stared, he talked to himself. "You sly dog,' I'd say. And we'd share a secret smile. But then I fell. I fell like Satan tossed from heaven."
The setting is the White House, in one of the most speculated moments in the history of American politics: the final meeting between President Richard Nixon and Secretary of State Henry Kissinger on the eve of Nixon's resignation speech. "…Mr. Lees' blissfully funny and sometimes cruel fiction…both a serious work of the imagination and a fully realized political Satire/Political Satire of the sort that the American theater seldom sees." —NY Times.