Thursday, November 20, 2014

Mike Nichols

You can always tell gifted and highly intelligent people as they always turn to the past. Any young person who knows anything that happened before 1980, or 1990, or 2000 for that matter, is immediately someone who is intelligent, probably creative, maybe a writer. Nobody who is drawn to the past and learning about the past is not gifted
Mike Nichols 
Mike Nichols 
November 6, 1931 – November 19, 2014

We lost Mike Nichols yesterday. He was born Mikhail Igor Peschkowsky in BerlinGermany and was an televisionstage and film director, writer, producer and comedian. He began his career in the 1950s with the improv troupe, the Compass Players, predecessor of the Second City in Chicago and as one half of the comedy duo Nichols and May, along with Elaine May. May was also in the Compass. In 1968 he won the Academy Award for Best Director for the film The Graduate. His other films include Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?Catch-22Carnal KnowledgeSilkwoodWorking GirlThe BirdcageCloser,Charlie Wilson's War (his final picture), and the TV mini-series Angels in America. He also staged the original theatrical productions of Barefoot in the Park,LuvThe Odd Couple and Spamalot.

In 1955 Nichols was invited to join the Compass Players, which was predecessor to Chicago's Second City and whose members included Elaine MayShelley BermanDel Close, and Nancy Ponder, directed by Paul Sills.
Nichols moved back to Chicago to perform comedy with Compass and started doing improvisational routines withElaine May, which led to the formation of the comedy duo Nichols and May in 1958. Three records of their routines, best-sellers at the time, were released and the duo made appearances in nightclubs, on radio and on several television programs.
In 1960 Nichols and May opened the Broadway show An Evening With Mike Nichols and Elaine May, directed by Arthur Penn. In the show they were accompanied by Chicago pianist Marty Rubenstein, host of the television show Marty's Place and the musical director at Mister Kelly's. The LP album of the show won the 1962 Grammy Award for Best Comedy Album. Personal idiosyncrasies and tensions eventually drove the duo apart to pursue other projects in 1961. They later reconciled and worked together many times, such as on the unsuccessful A Matter of Position, a play written by May and starring Nichols. May scripted Nichols' films The Birdcage and Primary Colors
I will always remember Mike Nichols this way
Good Night Mr. Nichols

Stay Tuned

Tony Figueroa
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