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NY's Broadway theatres will dim marquee lights Friday night in memory of Gore Vidal

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NEW YORK, N.Y. - Broadway theatres will dim their marquee lights on Friday night in memory of Gore Vidal and the cast of his play "The Best Man" will dedicate the next week of performances to the author and playwright.

The Broadway League said Wednesday the lights will be dimmed for one minute at exactly 8 p.m. EDT Friday. Executive Director Charlotte St. Martin called Vidal's work both "timely and timeless."

Vidal died Tuesday in Los Angeles at age 86.

The second revival of his political play "The Best Man" opened in April with strong reviews and a stellar cast that included James Earl Jones, Angela Lansbury, John Larroquette, Candice Bergen, Eric McCormack, Michael McKean and Kerry Butler.

The show currently stars Cybill Shepherd, John Stamos, Kristin Davis, Mark Blum and Elizabeth Ashley, in addition to Larroquette and Jones.

"I'm honoured to have been able to call Gore a close friend," said Shepherd in a statement. "I'm privileged to currently be appearing in his play 'The Best Man' and speaking his witty and eloquent words every night only reinforces for me what a genius he was."

Producer Jeffrey Richards said there will be an announcement before each show for the next week that it is being dedicated to Vidal. At curtain calls, photos of Vidal will be shown on the monitors.

"Gore Vidal was an original," Richards said in a statement, hailing Vidal for his "grace, distinction, style, wit and wisdom." He added: "For his contribution to American culture, we will always be in his debt."

Set in Philadelphia during a fictional 1960 national convention, the play pits two candidates vying for the presidential nomination and sees how far they will go to win. The play has been extended twice. It will close on Sept. 9 at the Gerald Schoenfeld Theatre.

"It is filled with poetry about what it means to be human," said Davis in a statement. "And we will think of him and everything he contributed to life as we perform his play eight shows a week."

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