One Man Will Define A Nation Forever. History is not something new to the stage. While many claim the office of President of the United States is one of the carries no real power, the President does have the power to shape the nation forever. 43 men have done so and many more will for generations to come. While we have experienced the stories of some Presidents before on stage, a brand new one is coming to life about a man many would not expect. Some even forget he was ever President. America didn’t. This new piece will look not only at a nation at a turning point in history but solely focus on the man who helped engineered the nation we know today. Today, Luner on Theatre brings you the news of the new Lyndon B. Johnson drama All The Way beginning it’s run at the American Repertory Theatre!
All The Way is a new play written by Pulitzer Prize winner Robert Schenkkan. The play takes place in 1963 after the assassination of John F. Kennedy and Lyndon B. Johnson is launched into the office of President of the United States. The play takes place during his first year in office as he works to pass Civil Rights legislation and social programs which ultimately help him win the 1964 election in a landslide. With a looming war in Vietnam and the country in turmoil over civil rights, All The Way captures the spirit of a nation through the man who shaped the country during one of its most vulnerable moments in American history.
Previews for All The Way officially begin tonight September 13th at the American Repertory Theatre and will officially open on September 19th, 2013. The production is playing at A.R.T. through October 12th. The production has already SOLD OUT its entire run in Cambridge where A.R.T. is located. The show premiered at the 2012 Oregon Shakespeare Festival.
Leading the cast is Emmy Award winner Bryan Cranston as Lyndon B. Johnson in the new drama. The rest of the cast includes Brandon J. Dirden as Martin Luther King Jr., Michael McKean as J. Edgar Hoover, Reed Birney as Hubert Humphrey, Dakin Matthews as Richard Russell, Arnie Burton as Robert McNamara, Crystal Dickinson as Coretta Scott King, Betsy Aidem as Lady Bird Johnson, Eric Lenox Abrams as Bob Moses, Peter Jay Fernandez as Roy Wilkins, Susannah Schulman as Lurleen Wallace, William Jackson Harper as Stokely Carmichael, Christopher Liam Moore as Walter Jenkins and Ethan Phillips as Stanley Levison.
Bryan Cranston got the chance to talk about Johnson who he will be portraying on stage in All The Way.
“He was bigger than life. Sometimes he was friendly, sometimes he was vicious. He would cajole, he would threaten, he would pressure, he would hug. He swung so wide on the spectrum of human emotions in order to accomplish what he felt needed to be done. It doesn’t take much time for an actor to look at that and go, ‘Wow, how wonderful and frightening to step in those shoes!’”
At the helm of this production is Bill Rauch who is the director of the piece. He directed the premiere at the 2012 Oregon Shakespeare Festival, where he serves as the artistic director.The rest of the production team includes Christopher Acebo as set designer, Deborah M. Dryden as costume designer, Jane Cox as lighting designer, by Paul James Pendergast as sound designer and writing original music for the piece. The production will feature video projections by Shawn Sagady.
While the run in Cambridge for All The Way begins tonight, there have already been rumors of a Broadway future for the production. One of the production’s leading producers if Jeffrey Richards (Pictured Left) who was behind the Broadway revivals of Porgy and Bess and The Glass Menagerie. Both of the those productions began at the American Repertory Theatre as well. According the reports from The New York Times, producers are interested in transferring the piece after it’s run in Cambridge.
When asked about a potential New York transfer, Cranston told the press while the producers may be looking to the future, he is living in the moment.
“We’re taking it one step at a time. Sure, I’d love an opportunity to do that. If we’re well received and I do my job, there may be a life after A.R.T. Right now, we’re really focusing on presenting our show there, and whatever happens after that, happens.”
As we previously mentioned, all tickets for this production have been SOLD OUT for the entire run! A.R.T. has announced they will be selling a limited number of standing room tickets each day for that day’s performance. We only hope a New York future may be in store for All The Way so those of us who cannot make it to Cambridge will have the chance to experience this new production reflecting on our past. For more information, visit The American Repertory Theatre’s Official Website. Visit Luner on Theatre on Facebook and Follow Us on Twitter as well! We are constantly updating these pages with information! And of course, check out the rest of Luner on Theatre for all your theatre news you don’t only need but want to know and so much more!