The Best Man

The New York Post describes the plot as follows: “…William Russell, the ex-Secretary of State, is a wit and scholar with high liberal principles, beloved of the eggheads and suspected by practical politicians. Joseph Cantwell is a ruthless and hard-driving young man, a dirty fighter who will let no scruples stand in the way of his ambitions. And Arthur Hockstader is an ex-President, who loves politics for their own sake, admires a rough-and-tumble battler more than a chivalrous one, and is determined to have the final say in the selection of his party’s candidate…The ruthless young man has got hold of papers indicating that his rival once suffered from a mental crackup, which he is all set to use. Then his scrupulous antagonist comes across some incriminating evidence about Cantwell, which he is loath to produce. The scruples don’t appeal to the ex-President, who enjoys seeing the boys fight. All of this provides the framework for some vivid and interesting scenes in which Mr. Vidal contrasts the minds, emotions and fighting spirits of the two candidates…”


Dick Jensen – Mark Kuechle

William Russell – Fran DeReus

Alice Russell – Karin Schreiber

Mrs. Gamadge – Ruth Vollrath

Arthur Hoclstader – Warren Mueller

Mabel Cantwell – Rene Piraino

Sandy Blades – Mary Keen

Joseph Cantwell – Roger T. Fischer

Senator Carlin – Jim Spurry

Dr. Schneider – Heinz Mueller

Sheldon Marcus – John S. Pena

Commentator – Bill Doll

Filmed Sequences (extras)

Reporters – Marilyn Zimmermann, Carter VonRautenkranz, Pat VonRautenkranz

Others – Mark Heller, Tim Buchen, Jill Roth, Larry J. Bahr, Ronnie Zimmermann, Kevin Zimmermann, Bob Berg

Production Staff

Director/ Designer: Jan Ewing

Stage Manager: Jerome Brickner

Production Manager: Don Zastrow

Technical Manager: Henry Weinberger Jr.

Technical Director: John Brick

Technical Assistance (set): Roger Lahm

Costume Design: Pat VonRautenkranz

Assistant: Lucille Mueller

Light Design(stage) : Don Zastrow

Light Design(Film) : Tim Buchen, Hoke Hocevar, Jill Roth

Sound Design(stage): Ted Heller

Sound Design (Film): Hoke Hocevar

Properties: Karin Schreiber

Co-Chairman: Karen Schmeiser

Furniture Coordination/ Poster Rendering: Bernard J. Markevitch

Make-Up Design: Carol Jean Schmidt

Co-Chairman: Elinore Hendee

Cover Art: Roger Lahm

Assistant to Mr Ewing (filming): Jill Roth

Script Adaptation for film Sequence: Jan Ewing