Five years after All the Way brought Lyndon B. Johnson to the stage, the 36th President of the United States is heading back to Broadway. The Great Society, Robert Schenkkan’s 2014 follow-up to his Tony-winning play, will play the Vivian Beaumont Theater. Directed by Bill Rauch, performances will begin September 6 for a 12-week run.
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.
Brian Cox will star as LBJ, joined by Tony nominee Marc Kudisch as Richard J. Daley, Grantham Coleman making his Broadway debut as Martin Luther King Jr., and Richard Thomas as Hubert Humphrey. Additional casting will be announced at a later date.
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.
The second of Pulitzer Prize winner Schenkkan's LBJ Plays, The Great Society made its world premiere at Oregon Shakespeare Festival (which commissioned All the Way). It went on to play Seattle Rep, with a condensed, two-act version later debuting at Arena Stage.
Jeffrey Richards and Louise Gund serve as lead producers for the Broadway staging, having previously produced All the Way. Though the Vivian Beaumont, most recently home to the revival of My Fair Lady, is located at Lincoln Center, The Great Society is not a Lincoln Center Theater production.