Gore Vidal’s Best Man: James Earl Jones to star




James Earl Jones, who is currently starring as 'Hoke Colburn,' the chauffeur in Driving Miss Daisy will return to Broadway in the role of the feisty, folksy and wily ex- U.S. President 'Arthur Hockstader' in Gore Vidal's The Best Man coming to Broadway in the spring of 2012.

James Earl Jones’s many Broadway credits include 'The Great White Hope' and 'Fences,' for which he received Tony Awards, and 'On Golden Pond,' which earned him a Tony nomination. He starred in the Broadway and London productions of 'Cat on a Hot Tin Roof' for which he was nomionated for an Olivier Award. His many film credits include "The Great White Hope" for which he earned an Academy Award nomination. His TV work includes two primetime Emmy Awards for “Gabriel’s Fire” and “Heat Wave.”

Further casting and the creative team to be announced at a future date.

Gore Vidal's The Best Man will make its return to Broadway in its first major revival since its critically acclaimed run in 2000. Jeffrey Richards, Jerry Frankel, Michael B. Rothfeld (Eagle Productions), and Darren Bagert (Infinity Stages), the producers of that production, will be reuniting to present the work in the spring of 2012.

A play about power, ambition, political secrets, ruthlessness and the race for the presidency, Gore Vidal's The Best Man will be directed by Michael Wilson, who recently directed the Off-Broadway production of Horton Foote’s 'The Orphans Home Cycle Part I,II and III' at The Signature Theatre Company as well as the recent 'Dividing The Estate' on Broadway.

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 last played on Broadway in Sep of 2000, directed by Ethan McSweeny, and starred Elizabeth Ashley, Charles Durning, Christine Ebersole, Spalding Gray, Michael Learned, Chris Noth, Mark Blum, Jonathan Hadary, and Jordan Lage. The production was nominated for a Tony Award Best for Revival of a Play.

The play premiered on Broadway in March of 1960 and was nominated for 6 Tony Awards including Best Play. Melvyn Douglas, portraying candidate 'William Russell,' a former secretary of state, won the Tony Award for outstanding actor.

Gore Vidal is an author and essayists. 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 Judgement of Paris,' 'Messiah,' 'Julian,' 'Washington, D.C.,' 'Myra Breckinridge' and 'Duluth.' Essayist: 'United States.' Memoirist: 'Screening History,' and '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 three part, nine hour The Orphans’ 'Home Cycle,' which played Off-Broadway at the The Signature Theatre. 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.' He is currently represented Off-Broadway 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.

James Earl Jones