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The Best Man  By  cover art

The Best Man

By: Gore Vidal
Narrated by: Terrence Currier,Johnny Holliday,Naomi Jacobson,Timmy Ray James,Michael Kramer,Marsha Mason,Paul Morella,Kevin Murray
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Publisher's Summary

This darkly satirical drama by Gore Vidal finds two presidential contenders seeking the endorsement of an aging ex-president, and explores how personal agendas can change the course of a nation's destiny. The political intrigues rampant in Vidal's 1960 setting are strangely similar what is going on today. Includes an interview with actors Fred Thompson and Marsha Mason.

An L.A. Theatre Works full-cast performance featuring Terrence Currier, Johnny Holliday, Naomi Jacobson, Timmy Ray James, Michael Kramer, Marsha Mason, Paul Morella, Kevin Murray, Judy Simmons, Gary Sloan, and Fred Thompson.

©1960 Gore Vidal (P)2003 L.A. Theatre Works

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Great Political Drama

What's not to like--a play about politics by one of the most provocative writers about politics (Gore Vidal) narrated by such standout actors as Marsha Mason and Fred Thompson. This play revolves around the struggles between two men for the nomination for president. Thompson gives a great performance as a politician with integrity (no, that's not an oxymoron) battling his unprincipled rival. Both men have secrets and both men are ably supported by their wives. Marsha Mason, one of my favorites because of her work in several Neil Simon vehicles, is also quite capable as Thompson's wife. Ironically, this play is much better as an auditory experience than as a drama to watch. I believe this play is largely considered a failure because it is much more of an intellectual joust than anything else. It makes me grieve afresh when I think how much Vidal would have been appalled by and thus written beautifully about the corrosive state of today's American politics.

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In the rear view mirror

Vidal was born into the world of the Washington insider and he became an ascerbic observer of the passing parade and the pursuit of power.

This play is a concise view of a power struggle at a nominating convention. Seeking the presidency are two very different candidates: the first an ivy league man of principle, the second an unscrupulous populist.

A snapshot of a time which now seems uncomplicated, a time when idealism permitted compromise and better days might still lie ahead.

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  • Darren Sunter
  • 02-27-21

"He's the sanest man I ever met."

Living proof that you should always always listen to your doctor. "Who hasn't considered suicide?"

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  • Lorna Smart Wordcrafter
  • 12-28-16

Cynical but Optimistic

I enjoyed this very much. Cynical, satirical and witty as you would expect from Gore Vidal but still with a hint of hope and optimism.