As far as the Nixon-Kissinger relationship goes, the March 1, 1973 tape is par for the course of their complicated relationship: hard-nosed considerations of policy leavened with Kissinger’s adoring appraisals of his boss’s genius, punctuated by Nixon’s hearty encouragement of such obsequiousness. The conversation relates to Israel’s security, and includes a discussion of the Israeli and Egyptian bottom lines in the attempts by Kissinger, then the secretary of state, to head off the war that would explode six months later. That glides into a discussion of a meeting with Golda Meir, then the Israeli prime minister, and her plea for pressure on the Soviet Union to allow Jews to emigrate and go to Israel.
Stephen Belber is sitting in a cafe next door to the Coast Playhouse, now showing his noir drama "Tape," charmingly professing he's not the world's greatest playwright. Never mind that "Tape" -- which was turned into a 2001 Richard Linklater film starring Ethan Hawke, Uma Thurman and Robert Sean Leonard -- is being compared to the work of Sam Shephard and Edward Albee. "That's just silly," says the warm, athletic, boyish-looking author. "Put any Sam Shephard play next to 'Tape,' and it's just laughable."