Bryan Cranston to Star as Lyndon Johnson in Political Drama All the Way at A.R.T.
By Adam Hetrick
Emmy Award-winning actor Bryan Cranston will portray former U.S. President Lyndon B. Johnson in All the Way, penned by Pulitzer Prize-winning Kentucky Cycle playwright Robert Schenkkan, which will begin performances Sept. 13 at the American Repertory Theater.
All the Way was recently selected as the inaugural winner of the Edward M. Kennedy Prize for Drama. The honor recognizes plays that are inspired by American history.
Bill Rauch will direct the production that is scheduled to open A.R.T.'s upcoming season at the Loeb Drama Center in Cambridge, MA.
The play was commissioned by the Oregon Shakespeare Festival's American Revolutions: the United States History Cycle. Rauch serves as the artistic director of OSF, which premiered the play in 2012.
In addition to Cranston ("Breaking Bad," "Argo," "Little Miss Sunshine"), the premiere cast will include Brandon J. Dirden (The Piano Lesson, Enron) as Martin Luther King Jr., Michael McKean (The Homecoming, Superior Donuts) as J. Edgar Hoover, Reed Birney (Picnic, Blasted) as as Hubert Humphrey, Dakin Matthews (Gore Vidal's The Best Man, "Lincoln") as Richard Russell, Arnie Burton (Peter and The Starcatcher) as Robert McNamara, Crystal Dickinson (Clybourne Park) as Coretta Scott King, Betsy Aidem (Nikolai and the Others) as Lady Bird Johnson, Eric Lenox Abrams (The Piano Lesson) as Bob Moses, Peter Jay Fernandez (Cyrano de Bergerac) as Roy Wilkins, Marianne Hagan (Mercy) as Lurleen Wallace, William Jackson Harper (Titus Andronicus) as Stokely Carmichael, Christopher Liam Moore (All The Way) as Walter Jenkins and Ethan Phillips (November) as Stanley Levison.
Creative duties will be announced at a later date.
Here's how it's billed: "1963. An assassin’s bullet catapults Lyndon Baines Johnson into the presidency. A Shakespearean figure of towering ambition and appetite, the charismatic, conflicted Texan hurls himself into Civil Rights legislation, throwing the country into turmoil. Alternately bullying and beguiling, he enacts major social programs, faces down opponents and wins the 1964 election in a landslide. But in faraway Vietnam, a troublesome conflict looms. In the Pulitzer Prize–winning playwright’s vivid dramatization of LBJ’s first year in office, means versus ends plays out on a broad stage canvas as politicians and civil rights leaders plot strategy and wage war."
Single tickets will be available in July. Subscriptions to the A.R.T. season will go on sale in May. For tickets visit AmericanRepertoryTheater. A.R.T. is located at 64 Brattle Street in Cambridge, MA.
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