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The Best Man
Playing at the Gerald Schoenfeld Theatre located at 236 West 45th Street. It opens on April 1, 2012 and runs until September 9, 2012. The play runs for two hours forty minutes with two intermissions.
The play was written by Gore Vidal in 1960. It premiered on Broadway at the Morosco Theatre 0n March 31, 1960 and ran for 520 performances before closing on July 8, 1961. It was nominated for six Tony Awards including Best Play. The 2001 revival was nominated for a Tony Award for Best Revival of a Play and a Drama Desk Award for Outstanding Revival of a Play.
This revival has an outstanding cast.
Eric McCormack was in "Will and Grace" from 1998-2006. He won an Emmy Award for this role in 2001 for Best Actor in a Comedy Series
Jefferson Mays won a Tony Award, the Drama Desk Award, an Obie and a Theatre World Award in 2004 for his Broadway performance in "I Am My Own Wife".
James Earl Jones was last seen on Broadway in "Driving Miss Daisey" He won an Academy Award in 1971 for the "The Great White Hope". James was nominated for a Tony Award for that role in 1969. His voice is recognized for Darth Vadar in the "Star War" series.
John Larroquette known for his roles in "Night Court" and "Boston Legal". He was last seen on Broadway in the 2011 revival of "How Succeed in Business Without Really Trying". He won a Tony Award and a Drama Desk Award for this role.
Candice Bergman is known for her television roles in "Murphy Brown" (1988-1998). She won five Emmy Awards and two Golden Globe Awards for this role. In "Boston Legal" (2004-2008) she received two Emmy nominations, a Golden Globe Award and a Screen Actors Guild Award. She was nominated for an Academy Award and Golden Globe Award in 1979 for "Starting Over".
Angela Lansbury was on Broadway in 2010 revival of "A Little Night's Music". She has won five Tony Awards, "Mame" (1966), "Dear World" (1969), "Gypsy" (1975), "Sweeney Todd" (1979) and "Blithe Spirts" (2009). She has won six Golden Globes and been nominated for numerous other industry awards including an Academy Award on three occasions and nineteen Emmy Awards.
Michael McKean was last seen off Broadway at the Public Theatre in 2011 "King Lear". He is know his role in "Laverne and Shirley". Michael was nominated in 2004 for an Academy Award for Best Song "A Kiss at the End of the Rainbow".
Kerry Butler was in last years hit show "Catch Me If you Can" (March- September 2011). She was nominated for the Drama Desk Award for this role.
Donna Hanover was the first lady of New York City. She has worked in a series of television journalistic positions around the city . Such as WPIX channel 11 in 1983 she was the lead anchor for the 10 P. M. newscast and left in 1990. She has acted in various role in television and Off Broadway.
The play takes place at the Presidential Convention, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
The stage rotates around to either candidates rooms. Sometimes the convention. On the left side in the box seats is a television and a news commentator telling from time to time what's happening at the convention. The side walls there are signs with the names of the states.
Secretary William Russell (John Larroquette) hopefully will win the delegates vote for president, he has the lead. William's wife Alice (Candice Bergen) is there to give him support even thought their marriage is not the best. Helping him with his campaign is his campaign manager Dick Jenson (Michael McKean).
William gets advice from the former President Arthur Hockstader (James Earl Jones). He hints that he might back the other candidate. Another visitor is Mrs. Sue-Ellen Gamade (Angela Lansbury) one of the delegates. She also gives him counsel.
The other candidate is Senator Joseph Canttwell (Eric McCormack). He will do any thing to get the nomination. His wife Mabel (Kerry Butler) is a charming Southern bell. This candidates wife can't keep her hands off her husband.
The story revolves around who will do what to get what they want and that's to run for president.
This play may have taken place fifty two years ago but the political scene, mud slinging and back stabbing have not changed. The play has more meaning this year since this is a presidential election year. What a good call to do this revival this year.
This outstanding cast does a stellar job. John Larroquette is mesmerizing as the man who refuses to mud sling to get the job he wants.
James Earl Jones in the beginning is chewing gum which was annoying. It took credence away from his character. Once he stopped chewing gum his performance was outstanding and strong.
Eric McCormack is perfect in the role. He plays the man you want to like but end up hating.
Kerry Butler is making her dramatic debut, she usually does musicals. I hope she keep doing dramatic parts. She is fantastic, never dropping a beat with her southern accent. Kerry is talented in both drama and musicals.
Jefferson Mays, Angela Lansbury and Michael McKean have minor parts but when they are on the stage they shine in their roles. You won't forget what they played and how good they did it.
The set was well done. Derek McLane is the set designer. He has been nominated for a Tony Award for "Pajama Game" (2006), "Ragtime" (2010) and "Anything Goes" (2011). He won a Tony Award in 2009 for "33 Variations".
This is a show to see not only for the talented cast but for a story that never dies. Politics is a dirty business. Why people want to be in it is a wonder but they do.
Review by Rozanna Radakovich.
Photos by Annazor