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Anyone see The Best Man Replacement Cast?

abstract19
Stand-by
joined:10/15/07
Did anyone catch the replacement cast of The Best Man last night? I curious how Kristin Davis and John Stamos are in the roles?
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VampyreCamp
Swing
joined:7/11/12
I did see it and really enjoyed the play! It was a thrill seeing such top notch actors! James Earl Jones owns his role and commands the stage... but that's no surprise, is it?

But you want to hear about the new cast members, John Stamos, Cybill Shepherd, and Kristin Davis, right? Okay.

John Stamos is such a pro! You would never have guessed that last night was his first performance in the play. He was solid and fairly polished as Joe Cantwell. He does a really good job creating a character you just love to hate. And he brings about some wonderful subtleties that keep you curious about what's true about this character and what is not.

Kristin Davis, making her Broadway debut, was charming and enjoyable. I didn't see Kerry Butler in the role so I don't have anything to compare Kristin Davis to except I could tell she was nervous. But she did just fine. I think as she gets a few more performances in she'll feel a little more at ease on stage. But she was enjoyable to watch.

I wish I could say the same for Cybill Shepherd who was also making her Broadway debut last night. She was fairly wooden and just getting through the blocking and saying the lines just to get through them. I realize this character is supposed to be "cold" but there was nothing there at all! Her nerves were showing through. She stepped on a couple people's lines, she jumped a couple cues, and John Larroquette had to very quietly, and tactfully feed her a line in one of their opening scenes. He was making up for their relationship on stage. She wasn't making many choices at all. Her funny lines weren't landing. She needed maybe a week more of rehearsal to cook. I hope that as she gets more comfortable and confident she'll find places to make choices. She has the potential to be great and I may go back in a couple weeks to see how she's grown. Despite everything I said above, I was routing for her to be great.

Then you have to remember they haven't had all too much time to rehearse and yesterday was a big day, I imagine, with put in rehearsals and production photos. And then the actual show. What an overwhelming experience.

All in all, I really enjoyed the play and I thought the cast did a fine job. Angela Lansbury is still a treat to behold on stage. And Jefferson Mays gives a Jefferson Mays-worthy performance... nothing short of spectacular.

Go see the new cast! It's a great play to see, especially it being an election year!

PS... this is indeed my first post... so be nice. LoL
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themysteriousgrowl
Broadway Legend
joined:11/10/10

^Cybil's performance sounds just like the performance Candice Bergen was giving all the way up until the end.
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Dollypop
Broadway Legend
joined:5/15/03
Vampy, let me commend you on a well-written and intelligent "review" of the play.

Leet me welcome you to BWW. May you enjoy your every visit here as much as I do!
"Long live God!" (GODSPELL)
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dtzumbrunnen
Broadway Star
joined:6/30/08
Sorry for Cybil. Hopefully she can pull it together a bit more than Candice Bergen - I never saw her need lines fed to her, but other than that, you described my Candice Bergen experience.
abstract19
Stand-by
joined:10/15/07
Thanks for the review! Sadly, I do not think I will be able to make it back into the city before it closes, but glad to hear it stills sounds like a great show!
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aaronb
Broadway Star
joined:6/3/12
Seeing it tomorrow. I hope Cybil has improved since you saw her.
Check out my theater blog, http://www.scribicide.com
Debra Ritter
Understudy
joined:10/27/07
When is Angela Lansbury leaving? Won't be in NY till the 20th, really want to see her on stage.
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theatreguy
Broadway Legend
joined:7/31/03
Lansbury's last performance is the 22nd.
Debra Ritter
Understudy
joined:10/27/07
Thanks!!
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PopAria
Leading Actor
joined:9/15/10
It just seems unfortunate that actors hired to play these parts aren't ready... I guess good looks really do take you far.
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JBroadway
Broadway Star
joined:4/6/12
Anyone know which of the new cast members come out the Stage Door?
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Dollypop
Broadway Legend
joined:5/15/03
None. They've all taken up residence inside the theater.
"Long live God!" (GODSPELL)
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aaronb
Broadway Star
joined:6/3/12
Unfortunately, Cybil is as bad as VampyreCamp said. I've reviewed the play with the new cast here: http://scribicide.com/2012/07/16/the-best-circus-ever-heard-of/
Check out my theater blog, http://www.scribicide.com
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little_sally
Broadway Legend
joined:1/15/04
Has anyone rushed this since the new cast took over?
A little swash, a bit of buckle - you'll love it more than bread.
fiesta1
Stand-by
joined:11/20/03
I saw the show on Sunday, and agree with most of the comments above. Stamos was surprisingly comfortable in the role and Shepherd was equally uncomfortable (or miscast). Jones was an absolute delight.

The show in 1960 may have come across more as a satire and warning of the perils of personal politics. In the intervening 50+ years, we've all seen worse real behaviors so the warnings seem trite. Deals still happen in hotel suites (and grungier situation).

I recommend the show. Save for Cybill, the cast is strong. I wish the show was done with one intermission (audiences in 2012 do not need two smoking breaks in a 2.5 hour show).
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little_sally
Broadway Legend
joined:1/15/04
I have to echo everyone's sentiments in this thread. I thought Stamos and Davis were great but Shepherd is indeed very wooden and acutally kind of robotic. I was never unaware of the fact that she was "acting," and it's even more obvious considering the rest of the cast is so strong.

The remaining original cast members are all still fantastic.
A little swash, a bit of buckle - you'll love it more than bread.
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dreaming
Broadway Legend
joined:4/24/09
I always thought that the character played first by Bergen and now by Shepherd was kind of robotic-she's always on auto-pilot, isn't she? She's just there for appearances.
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little_sally
Broadway Legend
joined:1/15/04
My companion and I were discussing whether it is a choice or if Shepherd is just awful but it could be a mix of both.
A little swash, a bit of buckle - you'll love it more than bread.
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dreaming
Broadway Legend
joined:4/24/09
I tend to think it's a combination. That couple is supposed to be the polar opposite of the other, loving couple (outwardly).
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aaronb
Broadway Star
joined:6/3/12
Eh, there's cold and restrained and even deliberately flat, and then there's just flat. Cybil tanked.
Check out my theater blog, http://www.scribicide.com
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followspot
Broadway Star
joined:12/27/11
Revisited THE BEST MAN last night and what was once a very good production is now a don't-miss. For a variety of reasons the new cast is better balanced across the board, and the continuing original castmembers James Earl Jones especially are holding nothing back. So glad I went back for a second look.






"Tracy... Hold Mama's waffles."
Updated On: 8/4/12 at 02:09 PM
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MrMidwest
Broadway Legend
joined:2/8/05
Anyone else seen the cast recently and have an opinion on Cybill?

Is Kristin Davis as adorable on stage as she is in this interview?
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=czIrM9ugSMQ
"The gods who nurse this universe think little of mortals' cares. They sit in crowds on exclusive clouds and laugh at our love affairs. I might have had a real romance if they'd given me a chance. I loved him, but he didn't love me. I wanted him, but he didn't want me. Then the gods had a spree and indulged in another whim. Now he loves me, but I don't love him." - Cole Porter
After Eight
Broadway Legend
joined:6/5/09
Cybil Shepherd seemed to me not entirely at ease on stage, and I found her performance detached and a mite sullen. I thought John Stamos and Kristin Davis were both better than their predecessors. And Elizabeth Ashley was as good as she had been in the previous revival---- which means very good, indeed.

Lenstersf2
Swing
joined:8/3/12
Finally got to see it with the new cast. My thoughts:

1. Cybil Shepard vs. Candice Bergen. This role, unfortunately, I think is difficult because the character is rather boring. She's frustrated with her husband, somewhat disappointed about the trajectory of her life, and detachedly interested in her husband's success. It's hard to give a compelling performance with the material. Based on what I've read about her previous performances, it seems like Cybil has become more comfortable on the stage, and gives a good performance..definitely not a total miss. But I have to give this one to Candice for being able to bring out a few more laughs from the audience.

2. John Stamos vs. Eric McCormack. As much as it pains me to say this (I'm a fan of McCormack's), John Stamos gives a much better performance than Eric. He portrays someone more calculating and determined to get the nomination at all costs. His facial expressions and body movements were spot on. Also, his voice projects better than McCormack's, so when he and Larroquette are arguing, it just sounds more believable.

3. Kristin Davis vs. Kerry Butler. Tie - both are great in this role. I was very impressed that this is Kristin's Broadway debut. She looks comfortable on stage, and she and Stamos make a great pair. At stage door, she was very kind with her fans - taking pictures, chatting. It was also John's birthday, so she told us to sing "Happy Birthday" when he came out. She seemed like a genuinely nice person who is grateful for the recognition.

4. Elizabeth Ashley vs. Angela Lansbury. Again, both are great, but I think the slight edge goes to Lansbury. While Lansbury gave a quirkier performance, Ashley was more energetic, obviously quite comfortable with this role.
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TimesSquared
Featured Actor
joined:2/2/10
Lenstersf2, I like your old cast vs. new cast review. Fun way to break it down. I saw the original cast and hope to catch the new one. I wasn't crazy about either McCormack or Butler so I'd love to see their replacements.

But I must disagree with you about the role of Alice Russell being boring. I think the writing is wonderful for all the characters. In fact, Alice has some of the sharpest lines in the play--made all the more interesting and complex given that she's still clearly in love with her husband. Candice Bergen just doesn't have the acting chops to pull it off, and apparently, neither does Shepherd.

After ten minutes of Bergen's performance, all I could think was "Why didn't they think to cast Cherry Jones as Alice!" she would have been brilliant in the role. Larroquette was excellent, despite having to play off Bergen's Murphy-Brown-one-liner delivery. With Cherry Jones, that quietly seething dialogue between the Russells would have started a fire in that theater!

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