James Earl Jones to headline 2012 revival of ‘The Best Man’

James Earl Jones has already lined up his next Broadway gig while he is still packing them in with the revival of “Driving Miss Daisy.” In next spring’s second rialto remounting of Gore Vidals 1960 political drama “The Best Man,” Jones will take on the part of the former President who gets caught up in his party’s contentious convention to select a nominee. The role’s originator, Lee Tracy, contended for Best Actor at the Tony Awards for his performance.

Jones, a two-time Best Actor winner (“The Great White Hope, 1969; ” “Fences,” 1987), is a strong contender this year for his work in the acclaimed production of “Driving Miss Daisy” opposite Best Actress Tony champ Vanessa Redgrave (“Long Day’s Journey Into Night,” 2003).

The original run of “The Best Man” vied for six Tony Awards including Best Play. And, as one of the two rivals for the party’s nomination, Melvyn Douglas won the Best Actor prize. The first remounting, which opened just as the 2000 election dominated the headlines, lost Best Play Revival to “One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest.” 

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