■ BY SUE ERWIN
The Royal Palm Players are kicking off the 2018/2019 production season on November 8 with “The Best Man,” by Gore Vidal.
The scene, set at the convention to nominate the party’s candidate for the President of the United States, confirms why politics and politicians are so entertaining.
“It’s written with a heavy emphasis on political satire, and we couldn’t think of better timing than to have it during the election season,” said Meryl Shaffer, director of the play. “It was written in the 1960s … I think it should be a lot of fun.”
The first day of rehearsal was Tuesday, Oct. 23 at the Boca Grande Community Center.
There are 16 cast members in the play.
Mark Masselink will be playing the role of William Russell, Linda Rollyson will be playing Alice Russell, Jack Carley will be playing Dick Jensen, Robbie Stanley will be playing Catherine, Lew Hastings will be playing Joe Cantwell, Kimberly Whipple will be playing Mebal Cantwell, Lynda Grant will be playing Rose Blades, Jim Grant will play Arthur Hockstader, Carol Elwood will play Sue-Ellen Gamadge, Robert Levine will be Sheldon Marcus and Laurie Ducharme will play Dr. Joan Artinian.
There are four reporter roles that will be played by Ginny Williamson, Gerry Miller, Marilyn Barton and Hal McCombs, who is also the stage manager.
New this year to the crew is costume designer Arnie Preston, and Alex Newberry will handle lights and sound.
RPP Board member Priscilla Masselink is producing the play.
“For the next two week, the spouses of the cast will probably know all the lines to the play as they work on memorizing the scenes, but we are all looking forward to a great production in November,” Shaffer said.
The Best Man will run for four nights: Performances will be at 7 p.m. on Thursday, Nov. 8, Friday, Nov. 9, and Saturday, Nov. 10, and 5 p.m. on Sunday, Nov. 11.
For tickets or for more information, visit royalpalmplayers.com or call (941) 964-2670.