NEW YORK -- Producers of the Broadway revival of Gore Vidal's The Best Man are aiming to keep the star wattage on high when a number of original cast members depart early next month, bringing in some major-name replacements to complete the run.
Stepping in, respectively, for Candice Bergen, Eric McCormack, Kerry Butler and Angela Lansbury, are Cybill Shepherd, John Stamos, Kristin Davis and Elizabeth Ashley. They join original ensemble members James Earl Jones, John Larroquette and Jefferson Mays, who will remain with the show through its scheduled closing date of Sept. 9, as will Mark Blum, who replaced the injured Michael McKean.
Vidal's 1960 play examines the behind-the-scenes mud-wrestling at a Philadelphia presidential nominating convention that year. While the production failed to turn either of its two nominations (for best revival and lead actor in a play, Jones) into Tony Awards Sunday night, it has been doing brisk business since opening April 1.
The play will mark the Broadway debuts of both Shepherd and Davis. Along with Stamos, they begin performances July 10, while Ashley starts on July 24.