PHOTO ARCHIVE: James Earl Jones Onstage
By Matthew Blank
Playbill.com takes a look at James Earl Jones' stage triumphs in a career spanning over 50 years. The actor picked up his fourth Tony Award nomination this year for his performance in The Best Man.
Jones won Tonys for The Great White Hope and Fences and received an additional nomination for On Golden Pond.
The starry revival of Gore Vidal's The Best Man about the personalities involved in a political party's convention has been nominated for a 2012 Tony Award for Best Revival of a Play. It also earned a Best Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role in a Play nomination for James Earl Jones, who plays a former U.S. president.
The production is directed by Drama Desk Award winner Michael Wilson (The Orphans Home Cycle Part I, II and III, Dividing The Estate). Opening night was April 1 following previews from March 6.
The cast currently includes Tony and Emmy Award winner John Larroquette as candidate William Russell (a former Secretary of State with a troubled marriage, a hint of mental illness); Emmy and Golden Globe winner Candice Bergen ("Murphy Brown") as Russell's wife; Emmy Award winner Eric McCormack as ruthless candidate Sen. Joseph Cantwell (who has "naked ambition"); Tony Award winner Jefferson Mays (I Am My Own Wife) as a former Army colleague of the senator; Tony nominee Kerry Butler (Xanadu, Hairspray) as Cantwell's Southern spitfire wife; Drama Desk Award winner Michael McKean (The Pajama Game, Superior Donuts) as Russell's campaign manager; and five-time Tony Award winner Angela Lansbury (Mame, Sweeney Todd, Gypsy, Dear World) as Sue-Ellen, who has the ear of women voters.
Tickets can be purchased at Telecharge.com or by calling (212) 239-6200.
Here's how the producers bill it: "A play about power, ambition, political secrets, ruthlessness and the race for the presidency, Gore Vidal's The Best Man is set at the national convention where two candidates are vying for their party's nomination during the primary season. It's an inside look at the dirt-digging, double-dealing, triple-crossing chicanery of presidential electioneering and what could be more fun in a presidential campaign season than these theatrical fireworks."
Visit thebestmanonbroadway.com for more information.
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