Not one, but two completely different plays about Lyndon B. Johnson, the 36th President of the United States, are eyeing Broadway, according to The New York Times. All the Way, starring Breaking Bad's Bryan Cranston, will play September 13 through October 12 at the American Repertory Theater in Cambridge, MA, while The Great Society will play August 3 through 24 at off-Broadway’s Clurman Theatre.
Written by Robert Schenkkan and directed by Bill Rauch, the previously announced bio-play All the Way details the first year of Johnson’s presidency. In addition to Cranston, who will play Johnson, the cast includes Michael McKean as J. Edgar Hoover, Brandon J. Dirden as Martin Luther King Jr. and Reed Birney as Hubert Humphrey. The play originally premiered at the Oregon Shakespeare Festival in July 2012. Producer Jeffrey Richards, who also recently produced The Best Man and Porgy and Bess on Broadway, is reportedly considering a Broadway transfer. No official Broadway dates or theater have been set.
The Great Society, written by Alexander Harrington and directed by Seth Duerr, features Mitch Tebo (The Dumb Waiter) as Lyndon Johnson, Elena McGhee (Blue Bloods) as Lady Bird Johnson, and Curtis Wiley (The Lion King) as Martin Luther King, Jr. Presented by the York Shakespeare Company, the play tells the story of Johnson’s presidency as he imparts the War on Poverty legislation. Could it head to Broadway? The producer, Albert Podell, who is also a lawyer, is reportedly “willing to write the $3.3 million dollar check to make it happen.” Podell knows it’s unlikely two shows about Lyndon B. Johnson will be produced on Broadway at the same time, and reveals he’s been using “tactical Johnson-esque mind games” to take the lead in the race to Broadway.
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