Actor joins cast of upcoming Broadway revival

James Earl Jones has nailed down his next Broadway gig, with the thesp set to play a fictional former president of the United States in “Gore Vidal’s The Best Man.”

Jones currently appears on the Rialto in the revival “Driving Miss Daisy,” which ends an extended run April 9. Thesp’s name recognition is considered one of the contributing factors to that show’s strong sales, in addition to the presence of fellow topliner Vanessa Redgrave and the familiar title.

Jones will play former U.S. prexy Arthur Hockstader in the 1960 play by Vidal. Storyline follows the behind-the-scenes machinations to score a presidential nom at a political party’s national convention.

Further casting remains to be set. Michael Wilson (“Dividing the Estate,” “The Orphans Home Cycle”) helms.

Producer Jeffrey Richards brings the politically themed play back to Broadway a dozen years after an earlier revival of “Best Man” he produced in 2000. Jerry Frankel, Michael B. Rothfeld of Eagle Prods. and Darren Bagert of Infinity Stages, also producers of that staging, are all on board for the new incarnation.

Theater and exact dates for “Best Man” are still to be determined.

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