The Great Society on Broadway
About The Great Society
See the Emmy winning, Oliver winning, star of HBO’s Succession, Brian Cox, on Broadway in The Great Society.
“BRIAN COX DELIVERS AN ELECTRIFYING, TONY-WORTHY PERFORMANCE!”- The Guardian
“AN ACTION-PACKED ROLLER-COASTER OF A DRAMA!” - amNY
19 Actors. 50 Characters. One Epic American Play.
Tell Me More
Just as history often repeats itself, so, too, does Broadway. Following the success of 2012’s “All the Way,” Tony Award and Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright Robert Schenkkan returns to the Great White Way with a follow-up: his second of two plays about President Lyndon B. Johnson. “The Great Society,” running at the Vivian Beaumont Theater, will tell of the years leading up to the 1968 conclusion to the Johnson presidency.
Designed as a companion piece to “All the Way,” the historical drama is directed as that play was by Bill Rauch. However, whereas the tragedy-prone president was played in “All the Way” by Bryan Cranston (who earned his first Tony Award in the role), Brian Cox steps into Johnson’s shoes this time around, starring alongside Marc Kudisch, Richard J. Daley, Bryce Pinkham, and Richard Thomas. The limited engagement features a whopping 19-person ensemble, who will be portraying 50 characters.
What To Watch For
- Apparently, playing Lyndon Johnson bodes well for one’s trophy shelf. Following its success on Broadway, HBO adapted “All the Way” into a film, in which Bryan Cranston reprised his role on-camera. He notched an Emmy nomination for the work, which had to be lovely accompaniment to the Tony he received for playing the role onstage. (Perhaps Brian Cox should clear some room on his mantle come next June.)
- Though “The Great Society” tells of bygone decades, audiences are not in for a night of irrelevant history-dredging; rather, they can expect utmost poignancy. Beginning in 1964 and running through 1968, the year in which Johnson announced he would not seek reelection, the play depicts “an extraordinarily dramatic period, and absolutely urgent—in many ways, I think of it as the origin story for our present political crisis,” Schenkkan tells the New York Times.
- Speaking of topicality, “The Great Society” gets its namesake from a set of domestic programs established in the mid-1960s, the goal of which was the “total elimination of poverty and racial injustice.” Surely there’s a history lesson somewhere in there, right?
- It’s fitting that a show so directly about America has already made its way through much of the country. When “The Great Society” arrives on Broadway, it will already have been staged across the country, first at the Oregon Shakespeare Festival in 2014, and then at the Seattle Repertory Theater, where it ran in rep alongside “All the Way.” It received additional productions in Florida, Texas, and Washington D.C.
Recommended for 12+. Children under the age of 5 are not permitted in the theatre.
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