By Kenneth Jones
09 Sep 2012
|Photo by Joan Marcus|
The 1960 play, directed by Michael Wilson (Orphans' Home Cycle, Dividing the Estate), concludes its limited engagement at the Gerald Schoenfeld Theatre (236 W. 45th Street) — the auditorium of which is decorated with bunting, TV equipment, placards and signs — a few days after the close of the 2012 Democratic National Convention. (The play never mentions what political party we're witnessing.)
Branded as Gore Vidal's The Best Man, the pulse-taking play of American politics began previews on Broadway on March 6 and opened on April 1. Upon closing, the show will have played 209 performances.
During the run of the play, on July 31, Vidal died at the age of 86. Read his obituary, and read about a memorial gathering celebrating his wit, life and work.
The Best Man currently stars newcomers to the production Cybill Shepherd (recently replaced by Angelica Page), John Stamos, Kristin Davis and Tony winner Elizabeth Ashley, who replaced original cast members Candice Bergen, Eric McCormack, Kerry Butler and Angela Lansbury. Original players James Earl Jones (who was 2012 Tony-nominated for it), John Larroquette, Jefferson Mays and Mark Blum (who replaced the injured Michael McKean) remain with the production through its final performance.
Gore Vidal's The Best Man is produced by Jeffrey Richards, Jerry Frankel, INFINITY Stages, Universal Pictures Stage Productions, Barbara Manocherian/Michael Palitz, The Broadway Consortium/Ken Mahoney, Kathleen K. Johnson, Fifty Church Street Productions, Larry Hirschhorn/Bennu Productions, Patty Baker, Paul Boskind and Martian Entertainment, Wendy Federman, Mark S. Golub & David S. Golub, Cricket Hooper Jiranek, Stewart F. Lane & Bonnie Comley, Carl Moellenberg, Harold Thau, Will Trice. The lead producers were also behind the 2000 revival of the play.
Visit thebestmanonbroadway.com for more information.