Robert Schenkkan’s second Lyndon B. Johnson play The Great Society to open on Broadway
Robert Schenkkan's second play about Lyndon B. Johnson will star Brian Cox.
Pulitzer Prize and Tony Award winner Robert Schenkkan’s new play The Great Society, the second of his two dramas about the legacy of Lyndon B. Johnson, will open on Broadway for a limited 12-week engagement at the Vivian Beaumont Theater in September.
Beginning previews on September 6, the play will be directed by Bill Rauch and star Emmy Award winner Brian Cox as Lyndon B. Johnson, Tony Award nominees Marc Kudisch and Richard Thomas as Richard J Daley and Hubert Humphrey, respectively, and Grantham Coleman in his Broadway debut as Martin Luther King Jr.
The Great Society, which follows Johnson through his epic triumph in the landslide 1964 election victory through to his decision not to run for re-election in the next vote, follows All The Way, which chronicled the tumultuous times of his presidency.
The creative team for the play will feature scenic design by David Korins, costume design by Linda Cho, lighting design by David Weiner, sound design & original music by Paul James Prendergast, and projections by Victoria Sagady.
The casting of Richard Nixon, Senator Robert F. Kennedy, Coretta Scott King, Lady Bird Johnson, J. Edgar Hoover, Governor George Wallace and Robert McNamara is to be announced at a later date.
Brian Cox is known for playing the lead role in the hit HBO series "Succession," and also recently starred as Winston Churchill in the 2017 film "Churchill." His other film credits include "Rise of the Planet of the Apes," "The Bourne Supremacy," and "The Ring."
Mark Kudisch was last seen on Broadway in Finding Neverland, and is a three-time Tony Award nominee for his performances in Thoroughly Modern Millie, Chitty Chitty Bang Bang and 9 to 5 the Musical.
Grantham Coleman has just completed his run in the Shakespeare in the Park production of Much Ado About Nothing, and his other recent performances include The Tempest at the Los Angeles Disney Hall, and Lynn Nottage’s Pulitzer Prize-winning play Sweat.
Richard Thomas recently starred in the Broadway revival of The Little Foxes, for which he received a Tony Award nomination. His other acclaimed performances include You Can't Take It With You, Race, Democracy, and Incident at Vichy.
All the Way, the first play in Mr. Schenkkan’s series on President Johnson, starred Bryan Cranston at the Neil Simon Theatre. Of the play, in a review for New York Theatre Guide, Kathleen Campion said: “Schenkkan writes LBJ as the big, back-slappin’, scratchin’ country boy with a gift for the colorfully profane, the outrageous ego massage, and the bald aggression of a practiced party pol.”
The Great Society will play the Vivian Beaumont Theater from September 6 through November 30, 2019, with an official opening set for October 1.
(Photo courtesy of Polk & Co.)