Emmy winner Candice Bergen, five-time Tony Award winner Angela Lansbury, Tony and Emmy Award winner John Larroquette and Oscar nominee Michael McKean will join previously announced star James Earl Jones in the forthcoming Broadway revival of Gore Vidal’s The Best Man. The play will begin previews on March 6 and open on April 1 at a Shubert Theatre to be announced, directed by Michael Wilson.
Vidal’s 1960 political drama centers on power, ambition, political secrets and ruthless behavior surrounding a race for the presidency. The play was most recently seen on Broadway in a 2000 revival that featured Charles Durning, Chris Noth, Christine Ebersole, Spalding Gray, Elizabeth Ashley and Michael Learned.
An initial news release did not specify which roles the new cast members will play. Jones has signed on to star as Arthur Hockstader, a former U.S. President in an election year, who is torn between endorsing two potential presidential candidates. Lansbury will likely play the Washington, D.C. grande dame Sue-Ellen Gamadge.
Bergen previously appeared on Broadway in the original production of David Rabe’s Hurlyburly. She won five Emmy Awards for starring in Murphy Brown and was nominated for two Emmys for playing Shirley Schmidt in Boston Legal. Her films include Sweet Home Alabama, an Oscar-nominated role in Starting Over, The Sand Pebbles, Carnal Knowledge, The Wind and the Lion, Gandhi and Rich and Famous.
Lansbury, who earned Tony Awards for her work in Mame, Dear World, Gypsy, Sweeney Todd and Blithe Spirit, most recently appeared on Broadway in a Tony-nominated performance as Madame Armfeldt in A Little Night Music. She is known to TV audiences for her long run as Jessica Fletcher in Murder, She Wrote.
Larroquette is currently starring as J.B. Biggley in How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying, a performance that won him a 2011 Tony Award. Past stage appearances include Oliver Parker! and L.A. productions of Oscar and Felix: A New Look at The Odd Couple and Happy Jack. Larroquette is a five-time Emmy Award winner for Night Court and The Practice and also starred in The John Larroquette Show.
McKean, best known for his roles in This Is Spinal Tap and the movies of Christopher Guest (Best In Show, A Mighty Wind), is currently appearing in the Public Theater’s production of King Lear. His Broadway credits include Superior Donuts, The Homecoming, The Pajama Game, Hairspray and Accomplice. McKean received an Oscar nomination for composing “A Kiss at the End of the Rainbow” with his wife, Annette O’Toole, featured in A Mighty Wind.
Jeffrey Richards, Jerry Frankel, and Darren Bagert, the producers of the 2000 revival of The Best Man, will be reuniting for the 2012 production.