Like all lovers of magnificently intelligent fey literary strongmen everywhere, Philebrity mourns the loss of Gore Vidal, who passed away earlier this week. Vidal’s wit stayed sharp as a tack, and he accomplished more in the three to five literary generations he lived through than an entire pack of writers living through ten could reasonably expect to.
Just one of Vidal’s creations, of course, was The Best Man, a play about backroom American politics circa 1960, that is currently in revival on Broadway and garnering great reviews. Vidal was good enough to set the play here in Philly, and most of the play’s action takes place in what could only be the Bellevue Stratford Hotel, which in those days was a frequent site of various political machinations. It is a towering monument to The Old Days here in Philly, when a bunch of old white bastards could lock themselves in a room with some booze and some smokes, and conspire to wreck everything for everybody for good. It’s a brutal part of our history, and to be honest, there was no better man alive in the 20th Century than Gore Vidal to show exactly how.