JOIN JAMES EARL JONES IN
2012 BROADWAY REVIVAL OF
GORE VIDAL’S THE BEST MAN
Emmy and Golden Globe Award winner CANDICE BERGEN, five time Tony Award winner ANGELA LANSBURY, Tony and Emmy Award winner JOHN LARROQUETTE and Drama Desk Award winner and Academy Award nominee MICHAEL McKEAN will join the previously announced JAMES EARL JONES in the Spring 2012 Broadway revival of Gore Vidal’s THE BEST MAN.
The play will be directed by MICHAEL WILSON, who received the Drama Desk and Outer Critics Circle Awards for Outstanding Director of a Play for the acclaimed epic production of Horton Foote’s The Orphans Home Cycle Part I, II and III at the Signature Theatre Company, and also directed Foote’s Dividing the Estate on Broadway.
Gore Vidal’s THE BEST MAN will begin rehearsals on Monday, January 30th, 2012 with the first preview performance on Tuesday, March 6th, 2012. An official opening is set for Sunday, April 1st, 2012 at a Shubert Theatre to be announced.
CANDICE BERGEN previously appeared on Broadway in the mid-1980s in Hurlyburly by David Rabe. She is best known for starring in two TV series; as the title character on “Murphy Brown” (1988–1998), for which she won five Emmy Awards and two Golden Globe Awards; and as Shirley Schmidt on “Boston Legal” (2004–2008), for which she was nominated for two Emmys, a Golden Globe, and a Screen Actors Guild Award. She made her motion picture debut in 1966’s The Group and went on to starin a number of major films throughout the mid-1960s to early 1980s such as The Sand Pebbles, Carnal Knowledge, The Wind and the Lion, Gandhi and Rich and Famous, and received an Academy Award nomination for her role in Starting Over. Her later career includes roles in Miss Congeniality and Sweet Home Alabama, as well as a series arc on “House.”
ANGELA LANSBURY has enjoyed an unprecedented career, first as a star of motion pictures, and then as an award-winning stage actor in New York and London. Most recently, she appeared as Madame Armfeldt in the 2009 revival of A Little Night Music, and before that as Madame Arcati in the 2009 revival of Noël Coward’s Blithe Spirit, for which she won her fifth Tony Award, as well as Drama Desk and Outer Critics Circle Awards. She performed in 2006 in Terrence McNally’s Deuce, for which she was also nominated for a Tony Award. She made her Broadway debut in 1957 as Bert Lahr’s wife in Hotel Paradiso. In 1960, she returned to Broadway as Joan Plowright’s mother in the season’s most acclaimed drama, A Taste of Honey, by Shelagh Delaney. A year later, she starred in her first musical, Anyone Can Whistle. Lansbury returned to Broadway in triumph in 1966 in Mame, for which she won her first Tony Award. She received others as the Madwoman of Chaillot in Dear World(1968), as Mama Rose in the 1974 revival of Gypsy and as Mrs. Lovett in Sweeney Todd (1979). From 1984-1996 she starred as Jessica Fletcher, mystery-writing amateur sleuth, on “Murder, She Wrote,” the longest-running detective drama series in the history of television, a role that won her four Golden Globe Awards. In 1994, Queen Elizabeth named her a Commander of the British Empire, and in 2000 she received the Kennedy Center Honors.
JOHN LARROQUETTE is currently starring as J.B. Biggley in How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying, a performance that won him 2011 Tony and Drama Desk Awards.He was previously seen in the Off-Broadway production of Oliver Parker! written by Elizabeth Meriwether. Past stage appearances include Neil Simon’s Oscar and Felix: A New Look at The Odd Couple at the Geffen Playhouse in Los Angeles and Happy Jack written by two-time BAFTA winner John Godber. Larroquette is a five-time Emmy Award-winning actor, best known as Assistant District Attorney Dan Fielding on NBC’s “Night Court,” which earned him four Emmy Awards for Best Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series. He also starred in the NBC comedy series “The John Larroquette Show,” was a series regular on “Boston Legal” and won his fifth Emmy Award for a guest-starring role on “The Practice.” His film credits include Stripes, Oliver Stone’s JFK, Richie Rich and Tune in Tomorrow.
MICHAEL McKEAN, currently appearing in The Public Theater’s production of King Lear,won the 2008 Drama Desk Award for his performance in The Homecoming
(Outstanding Ensemble Performance). Other Broadway credits include Superior Donuts., The Pajama Game, Hairspray, Accomplice (Theatre World Award). Off-Broadway: Woody Allen’s A Second Hand Memory. Elsewhere: Love Song (London),
South Pacific(Hollywood Bowl), On the Razzle(Williamstown). TV: “Laverne & Shirley,” “Dream On,” “Sessions,” “Tracy Takes On,” “Saturday Night Live,” “Primetime Glick,” “Friends,” “The X Files,” “The Simpsons,” “Law & Order,” “Alias,” “Boston Legal,” “The Unit,” etc. Film: This Is Spinal Tap, The Big Picture (co-wrote both), Clue, Coneheads, The Brady Bunch Movie, True Crime, Jack, Best in Show, A Mighty Wind (Academy Award nomination, Best Original Song), For Your Consideration, Whatever Works,many more. Recently toured 30 U.S. cities with Christopher Guest and Harry Shearer (Unwigged & Unplugged) and appeared with Spinal Tap at the 2009 Glastonbury Festival and Wembley Arena in support of the recently released Tap recording, Back From the Dead. Co-wrote the Grammy-winning theme toA Mighty Wind (with Guest and Eugene Levy) and the Oscar-nominatedA Kiss at the End of the Rainbow,with his wife Annette O’Toole.
A play about power, ambition, political secrets, ruthlessness and the race for the presidency, Gore Vidal’s THE BEST MAN was Vidal’s second play following the success of his international comedy hit, Visit to a Small Planet.
Gore Vidal’s THE BEST MAN will make its return to Broadway in its first major revival since its critically acclaimed run in 2000 which received a Tony Award nomination and won a Drama Desk Award and an Outer Critics Circle Award for Best Play Revival. Jeffrey Richards, Jerry Frankel, and Darren Bagert (Infinity Stages), the producers of that production, will be reuniting to present the work in the Spring of 2012.
JAMES EARL JONES’s voice is known by people of all ages and walks of life – the Star Wars fans who know him as the voice of Darth Vader, children who know him as Mufasa from Disney’s The Lion King and those who hear him intone “This is CNN” while watching the news. Jones was last seen on stage in Driving Miss Daisy opposite Vanessa Redgrave, both on Broadway and in London. He made his Broadway debut in 1957 and had his first breakthrough role in 1960 when Joseph Papp cast him in Shakespeare’s Henry V, marking the beginning of Jones’s long affiliation with the New York Shakespeare Festival, eventually counting the title roles of Othello, Macbeth and King Lear among his many distinguished performances for the company. Jones has won Tony Awards for the Broadway productions of The Great White Hope and Fences; a Tony nomination for On Golden Pond; Drama Desk Awards for Othello, Les Blancs, Hamlet, The Cherry Orchard and Fences; Obie Awards for Clandestine on the Morning Line, The Apple, Moon on a Rainbow Shawl and Baal; a Theatre World Award for Moon on a Rainbow Shawl; and the Los Angeles Drama Critics Circle Award for Fences. Additional theatre credits include Paul Robeson, The Iceman Cometh, Of Mice and Men and most recently, the Broadway and London productions of Cat on a Hot Tin Roof (Olivier Award nomination for Best Actor). Films include The Great White Hope (Academy Award nomination), Dr. Strangelove, Claudine, The Comedians, The River Niger, The Greatest, A Piece of the Action, Gardens of Stone, Coming to America, The Sandlot, The Hunt for Red October, Patriot Games, Clear and Present Danger, Matewan, Cry the Beloved Country and Field of Dreams. His wide-ranging TV career includes two primetime Emmy Awards (for “Gabriel’s Fire” and “Heat Wave”) and six other nominations. Other highlights include “Roots: The Next Generation” and a great number of guest roles in series ranging from “The Defenders” and “Dr. Kildare” to more recently “Two and a Half Men” and “House.” Jones was awarded the National Medal of Arts and is a Kennedy Center honoree. His memoir, last published by Limelight Editions in 2002, is called Voices and Silences.
GORE VIDAL. Vidal is recognized as one of our foremost authors and essayists of the last seven decades. In addition to a major sequence of novels about American history and satirical novels, Vidal has written dozens of television plays, film scripts and even three mystery novels under a pseudonym. He has also written over a hundred essays, gathered in several volumes published between 1962 and 2001. Vidal’s career as an essayist culminated in 1993 when he won the National Book Award for United States: Essays, 1952-1992. His credits include the following as a Novelist: The City and the Pillar, Burr, 1876, Lincoln, Hollywood, The Golden Age, The Judgment of Paris, Messiah, Julian, Washington, D.C., Myra Breckinridge and Duluth. Essayist: United States. Memoirist: Screening History, Palimpsest. Playwright: Visit to a Small Planet, Romulus, Weekend, An Evening with Richard Nixon. Screenwriter: Suddenly, Last Summer, The Best Man, Is Paris Burning? Film actor: Gattaca, Bob Roberts. Vidal is also a Congressional Candidate both in New York and California.
MICHAEL WILSON was represented last season by Horton Foote’s critically acclaimed three part, nine hour The Orphans’ Home Cycle, for which Wilson received a Drama Desk as well as the Outer Critics Circle Award for Outstanding Director of a Play. On Broadway, he has directed Foote’s Dividing the Estate (Tony Award nom, Best Play), and Matthew Barber’s Enchanted April (Tony Award nom, Best Play) as well as John Van Druten’s Old Acquaintance for Roundabout Theatre Company. His Off-Broadway credits include the premieres of Christopher Shinn’s What Didn’t Happen (Playwrights Horizons), Tina Howe’s Chasing Manet (Primary Stages), and Eve Ensler’s Necessary Targets as well as the New York premieres of Foote’s The Carpetbagger’s Children (Lincoln Center Theatre) and The Day Emily Married, Jane Anderson’s Defying Gravity and Tennessee Williams’ The Red Devil Battery Sign. Regional work includes plays at Alley Theatre, American Repertory Theatre, Goodman Theatre, Guthrie Theatre, Long Wharf Theatre, New York Stage & Film, Philadelphia Theatre Company, and Hartford Stage where he was Artistic Director from 1998 to 2011. He is currently represented by the Roundabout Theatre Company’s revival of Tennessee Williams’ The Milk Train Doesn’t Stop Here Anymore starring Olympia Dukakis, and will direct the premiere of Christopher Shinn’s Picked at The Vineyard Theatre this April.
JEFFREY RICHARDS Jeffrey Richards made his debut as a Broadway producer with the 2000 revival of Gore Vidal's The Best Man.
JERRY FRANKEL (Producer) received Tony Awards for producing Hair, August:
Osage County, Spring Awakening, Glengarry Glen Ross, Death of a Salesman and the recent revival of La Cage Aux Folles. This season: The Gershwins’ Porgy and Bess, Chinglish, Bonnie & Clyde, and The Mountaintop. OtherBroadway: Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson; A Life in the Theatre; The Merchant of Venice; Race; Superior Donuts; A Little Night Music; Come Fly Away; Blithe Spirit; Desire Under the Elms; Neil LaBute’s Reasons to Be Pretty; Will Ferrell’s You’re Welcome America; Speed-the-Plow; November; The Homecoming; Talk Radio; Radio Golf (NY Drama Critics Circle Award); Enchanted April (Outer Critics Circle Award); Gore Vidal’s The Best Man (Outer Critics Circle and Drama DeskAwards, Outstanding Revival of a Play); The Caine Mutiny Court-Martial; Jekyll & Hyde; You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown (DramaDesk Award). Regional: numerous productionsat the Park Cities Playhouse in Dallas,including Love Letters with Charlton Heston.Film: Slap Shot with Paul Newman, Eye of the Needle with Donald Sutherland, The Big Easy, Fast Break.
INFINITY Stages The Tony Award-winning team is represented by Darren Bagert and Martin Massman. Their productions have collectively garnered a total of 27 Tony nominations, some of which include Guys and Dolls, Company, Sweeney Todd, Long Day’s Journey, and Gore Vidal’s The Best Man. Other productions currently in development: Picnic, Ruthless! the musical, and the play, Kiss of the Spider Woman.
John Larroquette- William Russell (a candidate for the party’s nomination)
Candice Bergen- Alice Russell (his wife)
Angela Lansbury- Mrs. Gamadge (his campaign manager)
Michael McKean- Dick Jensen (lobbyist)
James Earl Jones- former President Art Hockstader