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The Great Society

From 278 member  reviews
Members say: Great acting, Ambitious, Absorbing, Intelligent, Relevant

About the show

Emmy winner Brian Cox stars as Lyndon B. Johnson in this companion piece to the Tony-winning "All The Way," which depicts the tumultuous times that led to the conclusion of the Johnson presidency. More…

From the show:

From the producer, writer, and director of the Tony Award®-winning Broadway production, All The Way, comes a thrilling new play about the LBJ legacy: The Great Society. Presented at the Vivian Beaumont Theater at Lincoln Center, this striking production features a brilliant cast portraying over fifty characters, including Emmy® and Olivier Award winner Brian Cox (“Succession,” King Lear with the Royal Shakespeare Company) as LBJ, Tony nominee Marc Kudisch (“Billions,” A Minister’s Wife at LCT) as Richard J. Daley, Grantham Coleman (Much Ado About Nothing at The Public) as Martin Luther King Jr., and Tony nominee Richard Thomas (The Little Foxes) as Hubert Humphrey.


Member Reviews (278)

MEMBERS SAY:

Great acting, Ambitious, Absorbing, Intelligent, Relevant

49
Boring

See it if You really like Johnson and just love the history around his presidency

Don't see it if You are expecting to learn anything new

Also I’m just not a big fan of history. In fact if I were going to score th... Read more Read less

13
Unintersting, blah, and too got damn long, Disappointing, Ambitious

See it if and ONLY if you are a fan of actor Brian Cox.

Don't see it if you were expecting lighting to strike twice being that this is the playwright who wrote the hit play All The Way.

Also Playwright Robert Schenkkan, who wrote the two BRILLIANT plays, 1992's... Read more Read less

47
Banal, Slow, Excruciating, Disappointing, Cliched

See it if you have no knowledge of the period in question and want to see it enacted in a production devoid of theatrical or artistic interest.

Don't see it if you have literally anything else to do. Slow moving and dull.

Also It's three hours long, but it flies by like four. The only interest is... Read more Read less

40
A hot mess, Disappointing, Ambitious

See it if you want to get an overview of lyndon johnson’s presidency, with the focus on civil rights and the war in vietnam.

Don't see it if you are a serious student of the turbulent late 1960s ... this play will do nothing but frustrate and disappoint.

Also the expository first act is little more than a classic comic book para... Read more Read less

7
Third rate, Awful, Disappointing

See it if You have a friend involved in the production if only to demonstrate your willingness to see anything.

Don't see it if avoidable! Film clips do a good job presenting this time. Lousy even terrible accents and hair! Painfully uncomfortable seats.

Also Trivializes rather than ennobles. The “docudrama” play can succeed but... Read more Read less

40
Witless, no insight, amateurish

See it if On second thought, DON'T see it.

Don't see it if you value your time.

Also One of the more aggressively bad shows I've seen on Broadway. These ar... Read more Read less

49
Excruciating, Disappointing, Dated, Slow

See it if you are a Lydon B. Johnson fan.

Don't see it if you want to see a slow production that tells history rather than shows it or gets into the real emotion of the characters. MLK actor was gr8

38
Dull acting, Boring, Slow, Overrated, Disappointing

See it if you are a History major and prefer history plays, real or fictionalized.

Don't see it if you like some action. This is all boring talk, even if you like LBJ.

25
Excruciating, Intelligent, Intense, Overrated, Slow

See it if You are a history buff, who is very interested in LBJ

Don't see it if You want good acting or a more engaging play

30
Propagandistic, Insipid, Excruciating

See it if You can learn (some very slanted) history of the 1960s. Some very talented actors in int.

Don't see it if Playwright is so totally smitten with his lead character that the show is wildly unbalanced, like a bad lecture.

During previews
40
Slow, Epic, Confusing, Banal, Ambitious

See it if This is a marathon with a huge cast, and some very good acting, but a play with no soul. It is ambitious and it strives hard

Don't see it if but it somehow trivializes its subject and just scrutinizes it, making the show feel longer then it already is and painful to watch.

During previews
40
Disappointing, Long, Dull

See it if You're very fascinated in the history.

Don't see it if You don't want to see capable actors' talents wasted on a long, confusing recount of historical events with no insight into the characters.

During previews
45
Uncreative, Slow, Disappointing, Cliched, Banal

See it if you want to see a bygone era of a standard high-school American history textbook onstage.

Don't see it if you want any semblance of theatricality.

During previews
24
Dizzying, Dated, Disappointing, Slow, Excruciating

See it if Your love of history and politics exceeds your desire for well performed,absorbing, and excitingly staged theater. You enjoy tedious, monotn

Don't see it if You cannot bear to see the same scene over and over again in the course of a performance. If you ever respected Bria Cox’s acting skills, as

Also He just bellows, barks, and bullies his way in an uninteresting, monoc... Read more Read less

During previews
25
Banal, Great acting, Slow, Disappointing, Dated

See it if you'd like to see a good performance from Brian Cox at LBJ.

Don't see it if you're uninterested in traditional "great man" narratives of history.

During previews
40
A long slog that fails to engage

See it if You are looking for a primer about why the Johnson Presidency ultimately foundered

Don't see it if You are looking for interesting character development, dramatic tension, or an engaging plot.

Also Play is ill-conceived and poorly executed. Scenes that should have bee... Read more Read less


October 1st, 2019
"In ‘The Great Society,’ Another Presidential Nightmare: Brian Cox plays Lyndon B. Johnson at the height of his powers, when history decided to bring him down."
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October 1st, 2019
3/5 Stars "Brian Cox plays a weakened LBJ in Robert Schenkkan's Broadway sequel to 'All the Way'"
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October 1st, 2019
"The Great-Man Theory of 'The Great Society'"
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October 1st, 2019
"Brian Cox stars as Lyndon Baines Johnson in the continuation of playwright Robert Schenkkan's sprawling account of the tumultuous 36th U.S. presidency that began with 'All the Way.'"
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