Solid Reviews for ‘Gore Vidal’s The Best Man’

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The Best Man, which opened on Sunday, April 1, at the Gerald Schoenfeld Theatre, is set in Philadelphia hotel during the 1960 presidential nominating conventions of an unnamed political party. It’s a drama about the backroom deal making and the collapse of America’s political discourse, centering on candidates William Russell played by John Larroquette and Joseph Cantwell, played by Eric McCormack. The play was first presented on Broadway in 1960, but the 52-year-old work remains oddly relevant today’s climate.

The all-star cast, which Mark Kennedy of the Associated Press refers to as “a greatest hits album on stage,” is a sure draw, but the pointed and witty dialogue expertly imparted is the reward. Expect to clap a lot, as John Larroquette, Eric McCormack, Candice Bergen, Michael McKean, Kerry Butler, and especially Angela Lansbury and James Earl Jones enter the stage. Landsbury and Jones, by all accounts, command attention.  It’s a first-rate cast that provides a fresh take on an entertaining round of political marksmanship. The production is directed by Michael Wilson.

Below is our review round-up and a little Twitter Talk: