New York City
The Best Man, a satire of presidential politics by Gore Vidal, was first produced to great success on Broadway in 1960. The show plays out over two days at the nominating convention of an unnamed political party as two candidates seek the endorsement of a dying former President. William Russell, a statesman whose record of public service is exemplary but whose private life is less so, seems to have the edge over Joe Cantwell, a cunning political animal whose private life is nevertheless above reproach. When Cantwell threatens to ruin Russell by exposing his history of mental illness, Russell must decide whether or not to use the same dirty tricks on his opponent.
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