Broadway Review: Gore Vidal's The Best Man

The stage is decorated in an awesome attempt to carry us back into the space occupied by the 1960 Presidential Convention in Philadelphia.  Only we're in Gerald Schoenfeld Theater, the hosting location for the revival of Gore Vidal's The Best Man. Directed by Michael Wilson.

Despite it being a tad bit too long with two-ten minutes intermissions (please make it a single intermission of twenty minutes), I enjoyed this play. It has many quirky moments, and the unfamiliar political process of the past era is quite fascinating; though I am assuming a little more ridiculous than it is now.

The play is packed with an amazing cast!  There's James Earl Jones as a dying former President Arthur Hockstade . His character didn't make much sense to me, but I found him hilarious. John Larroquette who I loved in How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying is Secretary William Russell. An intelligent conscientious man who thought too much about everything.  His ideas for when he becomes president seemed naive. He abhors the deceptive and heartlessness nature of politics, and enjoys making witty and sarcastic remarks in his speeches.  Yet he appears a hypocrite, when it's revealed that he has been, for the longest time, unfaithful to his wife Alice Russell: played by Cybill Shepherd.

John Stamos, as Senator Joseph Cantwell is nothing but laugh-out-loud humorous in his blind pursuit of victory.  In spite of all obstacles. Well matched with Kristin Davis, best known as Charlotte York from "Sex and the City," is Cantwell's sexy, manipulative and "mean-girl" southern belle wife, who is already entertaining dreams of living in the White House.

Jefferson Mays as Sheldon Marcus, the man who holds the hush-hush secret that can ruin Cantwell is so putty he is very sad and in a funny sort of way: from his very pink cheeks to his spineless aura through his mousy voice!

I enjoyed this play, and if you can afford it, go see it and "hustle with Russell" a little. It's quite hilarious. Expect a twist to the end of the story.
-
Jane

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