Already closed | 2h 45m | Upper W Side

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

85
Dated, Ambitious, Intense, Slow, Great acting

See it if You enjoy history and political plays

Don't see it if You’re not into history or politics

70
Indulgent, Disappointing, Relevant

See it if You want to review LBJ’s latter presidential time in domestic and foreign affairs

Don't see it if You prefer entertainment over didactic presentations

76
Thought-provoking, Hilarious, Great acting, Entertaining, Ambitious

See it if Historical plays about real characters are your interest.

Don't see it if You are not at least a little familiar with the history of the time period covered in the play - Civil Rights, Viet Nam, etc.

95
Resonant, Intelligent, Great staging, Entertaining, Absorbing

See it if You want to see masterful acting by an amazing cast, in a play based on actual events that happened 50 years ago. Just a great all around!

Don't see it if You don’t want an entertaining history lesson. If you don’t want to sit in a theater for three hours.

75
Insightful, Relevant, Great acting, Great staging, Intense

See it if you're curious about late 1960s US history, for Bryce Pinkham, Brian Cox, Mark Kudisch, and Grantham Coleman, or political dramas

Don't see it if simulated violence, racism, and racial slurs bother you, are easily distracted, or don't like lengthy shows

Also I saw the matinee on Oct 5. It is 2 hrs and 45 mins with 1 intermissio... Read more Read less

75
Indulgent, Great acting, Confusing, Ambitious, Entertaining

See it if you enjoy American history, the writing of Robert Schenkkan or loved All The Way and would like to see the sequel.

Don't see it if you prefer plays with simply plots and minimal characters. This work is overstuffed, which at times works against the play. Cox is very good

70
Intelligent, Indulgent, Disappointing, Confusing

See it if If you're a history buff or you want to know more about the beginnings of civil rights legislation, medicare, and the Vietnam War.

Don't see it if Long, one note (screaming), some players were good some were not. LBJ wasn't really there

80
Relevant, Intelligent, Great writing, Great acting, Absorbing

See it if you enjoy recognizing that governing is always hard and humans are just pathetic. Makes today feel a little less awful.

Don't see it if you don't enjoy history. I was just a kid during the time period of the play, and I loved the insights gained from my mature perspective!

80
Thought-provoking, Relevant, Intelligent, Great staging, Great acting

See it if You would like a closer look at history. See it if you like to see the people behind the headlines face the world and their audience.

Don't see it if You are looking for a lighthearted slice of political life. Don't see it if you prefer musicals or comedies to dramatic plays.

79
Historical, Great acting

See it if you enjoy historical plays about U.S. politics; if you enjoy seeing the many parallels between past & present day society & politics

Don't see it if you don't enjoy plays; if you don't care about the 1960's; if you'd like to avoid yet another drama that could easily be 30 minutes shorter

84
Intelligent, Great staging, Great acting

See it if you enjoy historical plays and good acting.

Don't see it if you prefer lighter topics, smaller productions, are not interested in escalation of the Vietnam war during Johnson and his social agenda.

Also Had read the negative reviews beforehand and am glad I decided to see ... Read more Read less

90
Great acting, Great staging, Relevant, Clever, Absorbing

See it if You like smart, historical plays that cover seminal events, describe political figures, and share the backroom deals and impacts.

Don't see it if You avoid political plays and have no interest in learning about LBJ's presidency, Vietnam War and MLK's non-violence movement.

73
Great acting, Slow, Resonant, Relevant, Intelligent

See it if You are a history buff, are intrigued by a "inside", more in depth look into the turmoil of the LBJ presidency, Vietnam War and racism.

Don't see it if You enjoy a more traditional show with a straight forward style of dialogue and character development. You are not interested in history.

78
Disappointing, Great acting, Thought-provoking

See it if you like historical drama of a politically charged time (when is not?) or are a fan of Brian Cox

Don't see it if if you aren't interested in a walk down memory lane with LBJ or prefer your theatre more dramatic. Actors are very good and yet....

75
Earnest, Disappointing, Nostalgic, Ambitious, Shallow

See it if You’re a Baby Boomer who continues to need to be told the story of the American 1960s to understand better what you didn’t in your youth.

Don't see it if You’re looking for a deep analysis of a pivotal moment in either Johnson’s presidency or his administration. This is a survey of 4 years.

Also An ambitious play with very interesting subject material, my expectati... Read more Read less

85
Intelligent, Great acting, Absorbing

See it if you love history and seeing a behind the scenes look at the times of LBJ's presidency interest you.

Don't see it if History bores you or you are uncomfortable with violence.

Also Went in with low expectations but was blown away. Loved the acting and... Read more Read less

80
Relevant, Intense, Great acting, Ambitious, Absorbing

See it if You are a history buff. This plays takes you back to 1964-68, one of the toughest periods in recent history.

Don't see it if You don't want to see a show about civil rights, the 60's and how we got to here.

85
Intelligent, Absorbing, Relevant, Intense, Ambitious

See it if if you saw All the Way, and want more. If you're interested in historical theater. If you pay attention to the set.

Don't see it if if you can't sit 3 hours. if you're not interested in Civil Rights history and presidential power. 1 major character is not-as-strong

70
Resonant, Intelligent, Great writing, Epic, Great acting

See it if you're interested in history and drawing lines from the past to the present. The acting is amazing and Brian Cox is a wonder.

Don't see it if you're looking for escapism. This requires attention and thought. It's A LOT of dialogue with overlapping storylines. History is complicated

70
Thought-provoking, Relevant, Great acting, Absorbing

See it if How history repeats itself, police brutality and race relations from the 60's, still ongoing in the 90's. Fun watching politicians debate.

Don't see it if Slow dialogue,. American [past history, male dominant cast

72
Great acting, Relevant, Intelligent, Slow, Thought-provoking

See it if You're a history buff! The cast is phenomenal and the staging is excellent

Don't see it if You want to be surprised- we all know the outcome. It is not suitable for young children.

77
Informative, cleverly staged, great bc, Relevant

See it if You enjoy history plays, like Brian Cox, want to relive 1965-68, appreciate LBJ's persuasive manner but know the resultant tragedy.

Don't see it if are looking for high tech, in depth character development, or a shift in the historical outcome.

86
Resonant, Absorbing, Great writing, Great acting, Clever

See it if You want to see a fast-paced play dealing with a historic period in the 1960's and including many political figures of the time.

Don't see it if You don't like political dramas.

79
Great acting, Slow, Thought-provoking, Absorbing

See it if A piece on LBJ's time as President holds any interest for you. You just want to spend a night at the theater watching phenomenal acting.

Don't see it if Essentially sitting through two plus hours of monologues is not your thing. Or if you have no interest in LBJ or the mid to late 1960s.

Also I went into this without having read one review (and without having se... Read more Read less

70
Too long, Relevant, Great acting, Ambitious

See it if you like political dramas and want to be reminded that political dysfunction didn't start in the current administration.

Don't see it if don't like talky political drama.


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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