When "The Best Man" premiered on Broadway in 1960, Kennedy and Nixon were the presidential candidates. Two recent all-star Broadway revivals of Gore Vidal's caustic comedy have proved that its behind-the-scenes look at the machinations behind a presidential nominating convention is still pretty timely after a half-century. Vidal pits William Russell, a liberal, intellectual former secretary of state, against Joe Cantwell, a ruthless, younger upstart with few scruples. Will the best man win? Vidal's wit and his withering view of practical politics, along with a stage-full of well-drawn characters — including a former president whose endorsement both men need — ensures a lively, brainy evening. Directed by David Woodworth, "The Best Man" is the first production of Penfield Players' 50th anniversary.
Penfield Players present Gore Vidal's "The Best Man," Saturday, November 1, through Saturday, November 15, at 1985 Baird Rd, Penfield. $12 in advance. 340-8655; penfieldplayers.org.