When you're cast to play a public figure as widely videotaped, personified, and parodied as Richard Nixon, it's a challenge to forge your own path. The precedents are voluminous: Anthony Hopkins' pudgy-faced, occasionally British version from Oliver Stone's Nixon; Frank Langella's stentorian, deep-throated take in Frost/Nixon's Broadway and cinematic incarnations; the real-life perspirer from those black-and-white debates with JFK; and the wattled paranoiac of his waning political career. Jellison, in his fresh, charismatic perspective in Maltz Jupiter Theatre's version of Frost/Nixon, traversed a 40-year history of mimicry and caricature and emerged with something that looked and felt as authentic as the Nixon Tapes sounded. His hunched shoulders, stooped gait, and birdlike movements embodied the disgraced leader in exile; likewise his studiedly unpolished delivery, full of meandering ellipses. An ornery charmer for most of the production, Jellison also proved adept at channeling Nixon's potty-mouthed id, as evidenced by one of the play's key scenes, a bravura drunk dial to David Frost's hotel room. He almost — and this is a major compliment — made us feel sorry for the bastard.