The Great Society, Robert Schenkkan’s sequel to his Tony-winning play All The Way, is set to begin performances at the Vivian Beaumont Theater September 6 ahead of an October 1 opening night. The production, directed by Bill Rauch, is set to play a 12-week limited engagement through November 30.
While All the Way depicted Johnson’s year-long presidency in the aftermath of the assassination of John F. Kennedy, The Great Society picks up after his landslide victory in the 1964 election. The play explores his full four-year term against the backdrop of the Vietnam War and Civil Rights Movement.
Flip through photos of the press day below:
The production stars Emmy Award winner Brian Cox (Succession, Frasier) as Lyndon B. Johnson, Grantham Coleman as Martin Luther King Jr., three-time Tony nominee Marc Kudisch (9 to 5, Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, Thoroughly Modern Millie) as Richard J. Daley, Tony nominee Bryce Pinkham (A Gentleman’s Guide to Love and Murder) as Senator Robert F. Kennedy, Tony winner Frank Wood (Sideman) as Senator Everett Dirksen, Tony nominee Gordon Clapp (Glengarry Glen Ross) as J. Edgar Hoover, and Tony nominee Richard Thomas (The Little Foxes) as Hubert Humphrey. They are joined by Marchánt Davis as Stokely Carmichael, Brian Dykstra as Adam Walinsky, Barbara Garrick as Ladybird Johnson, David Garrison as Richard Nixon, Ty Jones as Reverend Ralph Abernathy, Christopher Livingston as James Bevel, Angela Pierce as Pat Nixon, Matthew Rauch as Robert McNamara, Nikkole Salter as Coretta Scott King, Tramell Tillman as Bob Moses, with Ted Deasy and Robyn Kerr.
The Great Society will feature sets by David Korins, costumes by Linda Cho, lighting design by David Weiner, sound design from compsoer Paul James Prendergast, and projection designs from Victoria Sagady. Casting is by Daniel Swee.
All The Way bowed on Broadway in 2014, winning the Tony Award for Best Play and Best Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role for Bryan Cranston’s LBJ. All The Way took place from November 1963–November 1964 as the President worked to pass the Civil Rights Act of 1964. In the sequel, Schenkkan follows LBJ after his victorious election through the end of his term in 1969. The new play takes its name from Johnson’s 1964 campaign slogan to describe his domestic agenda as the quest for “The Great Society.”
Jeffrey Richards and Louise Gund serve as lead producers for the Broadway staging, having previously produced All the Way. Though the Vivian Beaumont is located at Lincoln Center, The Great Society is not a Lincoln Center Theater production.