Inside the Tony Award Nominees: Best Revival of a Play

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Image Credit: Joan Marcus

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Gore Vidal’s The Best Man

Opened: November 3, 2011

Closing: June 17, 2012

Starring: John Larroquette, Eric McCormack, James Earl Jones, Candice Bergen, Angela Lansbury

Written by Gore Vidal; directed by Michael Wilson

Synopsis: Two presidential candidates sling mud and vie for endorsements on the eve of their party’s national convention.

EW’s Review: “Director Michael Wilson’s revival boasts an impressive collection of pros, particularly in some of the juicy supporting roles. Why, there’s 81-year-old James Earl Jones chewing gum (and Derek McLane’s scenery) as the Truman-like former president who’s expected to play kingmaker among the contenders but mostly delivers gems like this: ‘In those days we had to pour God over everything, like ketchup.’ And there’s 86-year-old Angela Lansbury, sharp as a tack even if she needs a cane now to command the stage, as the Southern grand dame who chairs the party’s women’s division and sways the crucial women’s vote. B” (Thom Geier)

Tony nominations: 2 — Best Revival of a Play; Best Leading Actor in a Play (James Earl Jones)

Odds on winning: The strength of this politico revival doesn’t match Death of a Salesman, which will almost certainly win in both categories in which Best Man is nominated.

John Larroquette on his three ingredients for a successful awards season: “Sense of humor, persistence, and clean suits.”

NEXT: Master Class

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