Sunday, June 24, 2012

The Best Man

That's the play I saw when I went up to New York last Sunday. It was amazing. The cast was amazing: John Larroquette, Eric McCormack, James Earl Jones, Angela Lansbury and Candice Bergen.

From reviews of the play. Here from the Hollywood Reporter:

Truman-esque former President Artie Hockstader (James Earl Jones) fuels suspense by being cagey about who will benefit from his influential endorsement. Given that the play is so period-specific, the color-blind casting is a little jarring, but Jones is so darn terrific as the plain-spoken, farm-raised elder statesman that any reservation is instantly erased.

Jones is not the only octogenarian to steal the show. In two hilarious scenes, Angela Lansbury injects a jolt of color and incisive character detail into Mrs. Sue-Ellen Gamadge, chair of the party’s Women’s Division. Somehow simultaneously gracious and bluntly candid in her opinionated assessments, she shares priceless insights into what the women of America like and don’t like in both a President and a First Lady.

This from Newsday:
In one room is Larroquette, commanding as the womanizing liberal intellectual -- and perhaps too thoughtful -- candidate. In the other suite are the savvy Eric McCormack as his younger, ruthless competition and his equally savvy sex-bomb wife (Kerry Butler).

Jones is both subtle and magnificent as the folksy ex-president, a power broker who works his endorsement like a high-priced tease. Lansbury is irresistibly cunning as the gorgon chair of the women's division who declares "We women like . . ." and "We women don't like . . ." with all the ladylike delivery of a threat.

Bergen is heartbreaking as Larroquette's long-suffering wife, shy but nobody's fool, with Michael McKean as his smart press secretary and Jefferson Mays as the squealer in the mouse-brown suit. (Perfect costumes are by Ann Roth.)

Jones performance was nothing sort of incredible. He was just great. And we had great seats. We were going to be in the back of the orchestra (not that that would have been a bad seat) but got moved up to be in row D dead center. What a great afternoon.

Here are a couple of pictures of the cast coming out to sign autographs after the show.

You can just see James Earl Jones under his baseball cap.

Eric McCormack signing autographs

John Larroquette who was really wonderful and signed autographs for many people.

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