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Upon the news of writer Gore Vidal’s death, of complications of pneumonia, the producer and stars of the Broadway revival of his hit play, The Best Man, offered glowing rememberances of the late literary and political icon.
Jeffrey Richards, speaking on behalf of the entire company, said in a statement to The Hollywood Reporter, “Gore Vidal was an original. He wrote novels, essays, plays, teleplays and films with grace, distinction, style, wit and wisdom. Not to mention that he was a master raconteur, an accomplished actor, a brilliant gadfly and an impishly gifted impersonator.
“The company of Gore Vidal’s The Best Man joins me in these sentiments,” Richards continued. “For his contribution to American culture, we will always be in his debt.”
Added Cybill Shepherd, “I’m honored to have been able to call Gore a close friend. I’m privileged to currently be appearing in his play The Best Man and speaking his witty and eloquent words every night only reinforces for me what a genius he was.”
In his review of the play for THR, Broadway critic David Rooney praised the source material for still having “plenty of bite even in our more jaded age, when chronic moral affront has so polluted the national political landscape that it’s seemingly beyond clean-up.”
“it’s remarkable that this 52-year-old work’s analysis of certain ingrained mechanisms,” he added, “as well as certain stock characters from both sides of the aisle, remains so sharp.”
The current production earned Tony nomnations for Revival of a Play and Leading Actor in a Play (James Earl Jones).
“Though I didn’t know Gore Vidal personally, I had followed him as a writer and cultural commentator for a long time,” cast member Kristin Davis said. “He seemed to live life to its fullest, and never shied away from expressing his opinions, qualities I admire very much. Now I have the honor of performing his play The Best Man on Broadway. While the play is known for being about America’s political landscape, it is truly about much more. It is filled with poetry about what it means to be human. And we will think of him and everything he contributed to life as we perform his play 8 shows a week.”
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