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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

79
Relevant, Intelligent, Ambitious, Great acting, Absorbing

See it if you are interested in history and the players who made it and were undone by it. Splendid depiction of the unravelling of 1950s America

Don't see it if you are looking for an intimate exploration of a character. This is about history and the larger issues that made and unmade men. well done

92
Thought-provoking, Intense, Intelligent, Great acting, Absorbing

See it if you enjoyed All The Way, or like an enjoyable and powerful historical piece dealing with the civil rights fights of the mid 60's.

Don't see it if you dislike very talky plays, where you actually have to pay strict attention. You dislike "theatre in the round".

Also The Great Society is a worthy successor to the 2014 season's All The W... Read more Read less

80
Greatish

See it if You want to experience recent American history in an upscale environment.

Don't see it if You hate long historical tracts without a starry cast.

Also I liked this more than I thought, given the middling reviews. Cox is s... Read more Read less

77
Disappointing, Intelligent, Entertaining, Ambitious, Absorbing

See it if You want to see some great acting - and some 'behind the scenes' information of the times/deals during the Johnson administration.

Don't see it if You do not like historical dramas. You are not interested in the 60s and how those years evolved and may have shaped the country.

Also Being of a certain age, this all happened while I was in middle/high s... Read more Read less

73
Ambitious, Disappointing, Overrated, Thought-provoking

See it if you like Lyndon Johnson- charming and a bully. The stage is crowded and the illustrated lecture at times seems like history homework.

Don't see it if you expect another Bryan Cranston "All the Way" focussed and riveting theater experience. This one is a disappointment.

81
Thought-provoking, Intelligent, Absorbing, Great acting

See it if you want to watch a solid cast, led by Brian Cox. Or if you enjoyed "All the Way." Impactful storytelling, with some very powerful moments.

Don't see it if you're looking for a broader context for the storytelling. It's very much through the LBJ lens and MLK Jr's death is almost an afterthought.

89
Clever, Entertaining, Great staging, Great acting

See it if You like several great actors telling an interesting story

Don't see it if You like musicals and light comedies

80
Intelligent, Relevant, Slow, Absorbing

See it if you enjoy historical pieces with large casts.

Don't see it if you want a fast moving fictional play.

78
Thought-provoking, Great acting, Great staging

See it if you like history plays; you like LBJ and presidential politics; you saw ALL THE WAY and want to see the sequel

Don't see it if you aren't familiar with the time period; don't like short scenes and little character development

Also The Great Society is the sequel to the LBJ play All the Way. While the... Read more Read less

80
Resonant, Relevant, Ambitious, Great acting, Absorbing

See it if If you lived through the 60's, care about politics and the inner machinations of significant change and policy, if you're a history buff

Don't see it if if you need gripping plot, have no interest in or conversely need deep dive into major changes of the 60's & the people who shaped them

78
Relevant, Intelligent, Great staging, Great acting, Absorbing

See it if It is beautifully directed, well acted, and about an important part of our history.Extremely relevant.

Don't see it if If you do not like LBJ and don't want to learn about his legacy.

82
Relevant, Intelligent, Great acting, Absorbing

See it if U wish to fathom deeper the legacy & problems some towering political figures of the 60s had to face. Great acting,writing and direction.*

Don't see it if Expect more abt LBJ's personality rather than facts. Brian Cox is brilliant but would be even more convincing with a pronounced TEXAN drawl

Also *Really great acting from the whole cast.... Read more Read less

77
Relevant, Great acting, Absorbing

See it if You enjoy political dramas.

Don't see it if You want a short-n-sweet show.

71
Lbj again

See it if you want more about LBJ good acting

Don't see it if you've had enough

75
Relevant

See it if You like political dramas involving fairly current events-in one's lifetime.

Don't see it if You disdain the above or realize things haven't changed that much on the political scene.

85
Relevant, Intelligent, Great acting, Exquisite, Absorbing

See it if All around great acting. Performed with such passion. Educational and informative history reenactment.

Don't see it if you don't like politics or history

71
Disappointing, Relevant, Great acting, Ambitious

See it if you enjoy history/political plays, saw All The Way and want to finish the story, or are an LBJ fanatic (many were in attendance)

Don't see it if you are not a fan of lengthy works (act two is very long) or political plays don’t interest you

Also I had heard so many good things about this play during the run in Ashl... Read more Read less

88
Ambitious, Thought-provoking, Resonant, Intelligent

See it if you wish to understand the challenges LBJ faced in achieving at least some part of the great society he envisaged.

Don't see it if you do not wish to watch an absorbing play that presents all too clearly the shady side of politics.

81
Intelligent, Absorbing, Confusing, Ambitious

See it if If you enjoy history from the 60s. Good acting,well staged. It’s a bit confusing but if you pay attention you will get it

Don't see it if It’s to long and sometimes confused you have to be in the mood for this play

100
Must see, Masterful, Intense, Great writing, Great acting

See it if You like plays about modern American politics in general and Presidential history in particular.

Don't see it if you aren't a fan of facts and couldn't care less about civil rights or Washington insider politics.

Also I loved this play! In my view this play is as close to perfect as it g... Read more Read less

79
Resonant, Thought-provoking, Relevant, Dizzying, Ambitious

See it if Interested in Politics, History or LBJ. Like thought provoking shows that explore history. Tour de Force by Brian Cox. Enjoy complex shows

Don't see it if Don't like long shows with lots of dialogue. Want something light and fluffy or a musical.

83
Great writing, Entertaining, Absorbing

See it if You’re interested in learning more about LBJ & that time in politics. Interesting set. I ended up liking it more that I anticipated

Don't see it if You prefer a high energy story or have no interest in the storyline

80
Absorbing, Intelligent, Great acting

See it if you enjoy historical plays with exceptional acting. Brian Cox is outstanding as LBJ.

Don't see it if you are not interested in political history or the climate of the U.S. in the 1960s.

Also This is a history lesson but told in a very interesting way. An enormo... Read more Read less

79
Well-written, Historical, Dry

See it if you're interested in learning more about LBJ and the historical events of 1964-65. The play is informative and the staging effective.

Don't see it if you're not interested in history; you're looking for traditional plot/drama. The material is a bit dry.

Also I'm in my 30s, and I found it worthwhile to learn more about an era I ... Read more Read less

90
Thought-provoking, Intelligent, Great acting, Absorbing

See it if You enjoy superb acting. If you want to know more about LBJ the civil rights marches and the war in Vietnam

Don't see it if You must have lavish sets and scenery


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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