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THE GREAT SOCIETY to play the Beaumont this Fall

zainmax
Broadway Star
joined:1/12/17
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1/12/17

JVJ93 said: "Once this closes around the holidays, what do we think for the Beaumont in the spring ? Follies? Lehman Trilogy?"

NT said nothing confirmed re. Lehman Trilogy. Source

A Director
Broadway Legend
joined:12/18/07
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Mike Barrett said: "Fordham2015 said: "Mike Barrett said: "Fordham2015 said: "Mike Barrett said: "Im having major issues with this site as well. Anyone else having trouble? I can select a date and nothing happens afterwards. Ugh. Also, where are the seats? Not sure how LinTix works exactly but I do hope this isn't a sell out on LincTix

EDIT: Also, sorry if this is a dumb question, I know the playwright is the same as All The Way, which was also about LBJ, so is this show an expansion on that play? Or is this a brand new show on its own? Some of the press and the email from LincTix just has me confused on that for some reason. I don't want to google either so I don't know much about events during the play. Thanks!
"

The Great Society is a sequel to All the Way- ATW was about LBJ's first year in office (63-64 after JFK died). TGS is about LBJ's full term as president (64-68).
"

Dang, good to know! Ill have to try and read through it before this one then.
"

There's also an HBO All the Way movie with Cranston.
"



Makes things easier. Appreciate the help everyone!

"

ALL THE WAY premiered at the Oregon Shakespeare Festival in 2012. THE GREAT SOCIETY premiered at the Oregon Shakespeare Festival in 2014.  I saw both. They were very good.

Both productions were done at Seattle Rep in late fall 2014 and early winter 2015 with the cast from the OSF productions.  In Seattle, the plays were done in rep.

rg7759
Featured Actor
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This is the thread to post how long the show is
Scoot3
Chorus Member
joined:12/3/18
Chorus Member
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12/3/18

First preview is tonight! Anyone attend? Any word on rush/lotto?

Deleted my thread to appease rg7759. 

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Dancingthrulife2
Broadway Legend
joined:10/28/15
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Currently the show runs just a bit over 3 hours. It definitely needs a lot a trimming, as the show meanders from time to time with little focus. I think the show tries to cover so much that it sometimes sacrifices storytelling and character building for some details and minor characters. The entire cast is great, but I feel it would be extremely unlikely for Brian Cox to not get a Tony nomination for his performance.
Scoot3
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joined:12/3/18
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TodayTix has $35 rush tickets. I will be attending tonight’s preview!
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JBroadway
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I was there last night.

I thought the play was a solid piece of political drama, but nothing extraordinary. I saw All the Way on Broadway, and I remember appreciating it at the time. I don't think this play is significantly worse or anything like that, but in the years since All The Way, I think I've come to realize that I just don't find this style of theatre very exciting. Not because it has to do with politics, but more because it feels somewhat lacking in a human core. We see these historical events play out, and we understand their significance, but I don't feel like they really give us much additional insight into who these people were, or what really drove them. Instead it focuses more on giving us an overview of the facts, and broader intentions at play (though they do it through dialogue, not narration, thankfully!). That doesn't necessarily make the play bad, but it's just not that interesting to me dramatically. 

There were also some obvious attempts to draw parallels to today, but they tended to be too heavy-handed for my taste (especially one "groaner" line in the final scene, which I hope they cut). I had a discussion with my friend after the show about what the take-away was supposed to be, and it seemed like a major theme was about liberals not being able to agree with each other, and politicians not being able to win in the eyes of the public no matter what they do. 

The most interesting parts of the show for me were the moments when LBJ has one of his opponents in his office, and he cleverly and smoothly manipulates them into getting his way, and getting them to change their stance in front of the press. There were several scenes like this throughout the show, and they were always my favorite moments (others seemed to agree - the first of these moments elicited applause from the audience).

As expected, the crowd was on the older side, and all the people I heard speaking around me tended to really enjoy the show. And I heard several comments to the effect of "we lived through this!" 

This play also feels very in line stylistically with some of the other recent plays put on at the Beaumont, like Junk and Oslo - both of which I thought were also pretty "meh." 

Brian Cox is very good. His take on LBJ is more restrained than Bryan Cranston's, and in general it struck me as a more grounded and nuanced performance. But Cranston's take was more charismatic, and felt more like an unstoppable force. 

The supporting cast is filled with talent, but most of it isn't fully utilized. Kudisch has a few good moments as the mayor of Chicago. Pinkham does a great Bobby Kennedy voice, but there isn't much to the character. Richard Thomas has a lot of stage-time, but he is only ever onstage with Cox, and Cox tends to pull the focus in those scenes. So it still felt like he was underused. Grantham Coleman has one of the meatiest supporting roles as MLK (a much bigger part than it was in All The Way). 

Updated On: 9/7/19 at 03:00 PM
SouthernCakes
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How’s the design
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JBroadway
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SouthernCakes said: "How’s the design "

 

It’s relatively simple and small. They don’t make use of the vast Vivian Beaumont stage at all, and instead put the show exclusively on the small thrust, and the back area isn’t visible. But the design is smart, and works well for the show, and I was surprised that the show never felt cramped despite the number of characters and the amount of action. And it actually feels very intimate, which is nice. 

Also, there is a clever stylistic choice in the design that is put into effect during the intermission. 

SouthernCakes
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Care to ruin that choice for me? (I’m not really into historical drama)
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JBroadway
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SouthernCakes said: "Care to ruin that choice for me? (I’m not really into historical drama) "

 

 
Click Here To Toggle Spoiler Content

Sections of the set are replaced to make it look as if it had been decaying or destroyed

SouthernCakes
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Thanks!
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Mark Waltz
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I saw this at Theater Row back in 2013 where it had an extremely limited run (2 weeks), and saw "All the Way" afterwards. I had no idea that it was the same playwright when I saw "All the Way", but they were different enough to be unique. Of course, they have more of a name cast now for Lincoln Center, so I may re-visit, especially since it has been a long time. The intimacy of the small venue at Theater Row is what I remember, as well as a scene where LBJ reveals (nearly) all at an all men's "meeting".  

One Grecian Ern
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JBroadway
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Mark Waltz said: "I saw this at Theater Row back in 2013 where it had an extremely limited run (2 weeks), and saw "All the Way" afterwards. I had no idea that it was the same playwright when I saw "All the Way", but they were different enough to be unique. Of course, they have more of a name cast now for Lincoln Center, so I may re-visit, especially since it has been a long time. The intimacy of the small venue at Theater Row is what I remember, as well as a scene where LBJ reveals (nearly) all at an all men's "meeting"."

 

I did a bit of digging, and it turns out the play you saw is not the same play that's now on Broadway. It was a different play with the same title, also about LBJ. That one was by Alexander Harrington.

 https://www.theatermania.com/new-york-city-theater/news/president-lyndon-b-johnsons-war-on-poverty-brought_65707.html

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Jordan Catalano
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Does Kudisch have a large part in this?
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JBroadway
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Jordan Catalano said: "Does Kudisch have a large part in this?"

 

Not that large. His most prominent moments are in Act 2 as the mayor of Chicago going up against MLK during MLK's Chicago campaign - but it only makes up a small portion of the show. 

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Mark Waltz
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JBroadway said: "Mark Waltz said: "I saw this at Theater Row back in 2013 where it had an extremely limited run (2 weeks), and saw "All the Way" afterwards. I had no idea that it was the same playwright when I saw "All the Way", but they were different enough to be unique. Of course, they have more of a name cast now for Lincoln Center, so I may re-visit, especially since it has been a long time. The intimacy of the small venue at Theater Row is what I remember, as well as a scene where LBJ reveals (nearly) all at an all men's "meeting"."

I did a bit of digging, and it turns out the play you saw is not the same play that's now on Broadway. It wasa different play with the same title, also about LBJ. That one was byAlexander Harrington.

https://www.theatermania.com/new-york-city-theater/news/president-lyndon-b-johnsons-war-on-poverty-brought_65707.html
"

Thank you for confirming that. It gives me more of an incentive to see it. It'll be an interesting addition to my playbill collection when I file it next to the other (unrelated) one. It reminds me of discovering the existence of a flop play called "South Pacific" that played the Cort Theater for 5 performances starring Canada Lee and Ruby Dee in late 1944/very early 1945 written by Howard Rigsby and Dorothy Heyward and staged by Lee Strasberg or the various "Peter Pan's" over the years unrelated to the more famous one. Hoping one day that Encores stages the Bernstein version of that! . 

One Grecian Ern
Damiensta
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Saw this last nite. Play only had one intermission and let out at 10:54. 

I enjoyed act 1 better than act 2. It was good nite of theatre but you have to be into history and politics. Brian Cox is great in role. And most of cast is good but since cast is so large, no one stand out. I did think David Garrison stood out as Wallace  and Nixon.

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SmoothLover
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Gosh, the running time is rather long....
LightsOut90
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i really don't understand why they didnt try to bring back ANYONE from All The Way, for example William Jackson Harper was Stokley Carmichael in ATW , he has a much bigger following now that he has been on The Good Place, missed oppritunity in my opinion 

RWPrincess
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This is longer than I expected. I'll have to catch a Matinee if I end up seeing this.

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ErmengardeStopSniveling
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Obviously Brian Cox was far from the first choice for this role. A good, menacing character actor, but he doesn't mean anything at the box office.

How does Cox look in the role? Part of the appeal of Cranston's performance was that he looked and sounded so much like LBJ, especially with the lifts/prosthetics/wig. Brian Cox is 5'9, stocky, and 73 (and easily passes for 80 on Succession), playing someone who was 6'4 and 57-60.

Updated On: 9/12/19 at 12:01 PM
BroadMagTech
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Besides Cranston, who do you suppose some of their first choices for the role may have been?

Fordham2015
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ErmengardeStopSniveling said: "Obviously Brian Cox was far from the first choice for this role. A good, menacing characteractor, but he doesn't mean anything at the box office.

How does Cox look in the role? Part of the appeal of Cranston's performance was that he lookedand sounded so much like LBJ, especially with the lifts/prosthetics/wig. Brian Cox is 5'9, stocky, and73 (and easily passes for 80 on Succession),playing someone who was 6'4 and 57-60.
"

Someone tweeted out a curtain call photo- not as much of a resemblance as Cranston

https://twitter.com/LUSCHERC/status/1171603670749917184


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