Theater News

The Great Society, Follow-Up to Tony-Winning All the Way, Is Heading to Broadway

Brian Cox will star as LBJ in the second of Robert Schenkkan’s presidential dramas.

Brian Cox will star as President Lyndon Johnson in the Broadway production of Robert Schenkkan's The Great Society.
Brian Cox will star as President Lyndon Johnson in the Broadway production of Robert Schenkkan's The Great Society.
(© Joseph Marzullo)

It was announced this morning that Tony- and Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright Robert Schenkkan will return to Broadway this fall with The Great Society, the follow-up to his 2014 Tony-winning play All the Way.

While All the Way followed President Lyndon B. Johnson (played on Broadway by two-time Tony winner Bryan Cranston) through his first year in office, The Great Society depicts the tumultuous times that led to the conclusion of the Johnson presidency in 1968. Bill Rauch, who directed the Broadway production of All the Way, will return to direct The Great Society after also directing its premiere at Oregon Shakespeare Festival in 2014 and Seattle Rep in 2015.

The cast will include Brian Cox (Succession) as LBJ, Tony nominee Marc Kudisch (Hand to God) as Richard J. Daley, Grantham Coleman (Much Ado About Nothing) as Martin Luther King Jr., and Tony nominee Richard Thomas (The Little Foxes) as Hubert Humphrey. The actors playing the roles of Richard Nixon, Senator Robert F. Kennedy, Coretta Scott King, Lady Bird Johnson, J. Edgar Hoover, Governor George Wallace, and Robert McNamara among others, will be announced soon.

The play is described as follows: "Capturing Johnson's passionate and aggressive attempts to build a great society for all, The Great Society follows his epic triumph in a landslide election to the agonizing decision not to run for re-election just three years later. It was an era that would define history forever: the rise of the Civil Rights Movement, the deaths of Martin Luther King Jr. and Robert F. Kennedy, the destruction of Vietnam, and the creation of some of the greatest social programs America has ever known — and one man was at the center of it all: LBJ."

The design team includes David Korins (sets), Linda Cho (costumes), David Weiner (lights), Paul James Prendergast (composer and sound), and Victoria Sagady (projections).

The Great Society will have a 12-week limited engagement, beginning performance September 6 at the Vivian Beaumont Theater. The producing team is headed by Jeffrey Richards and Louise Gund. They are joined by Rebecca Gold, Stephanie P. McClelland, Jayne Baron Sherman, Jacob Soroken Porter, and Lincoln Center Theater.