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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

88
Relevant, Great acting, Great staging, Funny, Entertaining

See it if You like political humor or historical fiction. Or if you want to see Brian Cox at his finest. Or a great set/lighting and ensemble cast.

Don't see it if You’d rather see more of MLK’s storyline played out instead of sidelined.

73
Resonant, Relevant, Intelligent

See it if You are interested in LBJ and the issues he faced as President.

Don't see it if You don't like plays about political figures.

91
Thought-provoking, Intense, Great acting, Ambitious, Absorbing

See it if If you are a history buff of the 60's in America, you'll love this play. LBJ is played masterfully.

Don't see it if There is a lot of historical detail in this play which may not be of everyone's taste in theatre.

70
Dizzying, Thought-provoking, Great acting

See it if Brian Cox delivers a powerful and effective portrayal of LBJ during the mid to late 1960s

Don't see it if There is a rather large number of non-leading characters with short stage time per role so it can be a dizzying at times

88
Thought-provoking, Relevant, Great staging

See it if You want to see historical people brought to life with all of their angst and imperfections.

Don't see it if You don't want to mess with the abbreviated, whitewashed view of the late 1960s they taught in high school tampered with!

73
Historical, Slow, Relevant

See it if If you want to know more about this period in history, or are a history buff. If you are a Brian Cox fan

Don't see it if You haven't had 50 cups of coffee. I was reminded of the great Dr. Katz quote, "Look how much work it takes to bore me."

77
Thought-provoking, Relevant, Great acting, Confusing

See it if You like historical plays and clever staging

Don't see it if You aren’t familiar with LBJ. Can be a bit confused with actors playing multiple characters.

75
Historically interesting, long, disjointed

See it if Brian Cox did a very good job, historically interesting,

Don't see it if disjointed-maybe necessary considering the length of time covering and the stage constraints too long

Also if you are not my generation, you probably do not know who many of the... Read more Read less

85
Ambitious, Great acting, Absorbing

See it if great show for a political junkie. The more you know, the more enjoyable the show is. Not quite as good as All The Way. still -enjoyable

Don't see it if you have no knowledge of or interest in politics.

85
Riveting, Masterful, Great acting

See it if you enjoy politics and Brian Cox.

Don't see it if you don't like dramas.

75
Indulgent, Great acting, Absorbing

See it if You are interested in well done piece recounting a recent historical era.

Don't see it if You are hoping that LBJ’s reputation is salvaged. The play is very good, LBJ wasn’t.

90
Great staging, Profound, Thought-provoking, Great acting, Absorbing

See it if you like to see great acting from great actors about historical events.

Don't see it if you are indifferent or don’t like the historical events of this political era.

78
Great acting, Dated, Entertaining, Slow, Intelligent

See it if you want to see Brian Cox in his prime. He completely carries the show -narrating the complex and impressive story of LBJ.

Don't see it if You aren't into U.S. political history.

78
Ambitious, Absorbing, Great staging, Relevant, Thought-provoking

See it if Event driven sweeping historical docu blurbs twittle your noodle.

Don't see it if If you live by Jazz Hands alone.

70
Slow, Resonant, Relevant, Intelligent, Thought-provoking

See it if You are a history buff

Don't see it if LBJ isn’t yourvthing

80
Overrated, Disappointing, Ambitious

See it if you want a tour of the historical landscape of the LBJ era.

Don't see it if you know the facts about that period in US History and expect to be enlightened about the inner workings of LBJ's character.

81
Ambitious, Intelligent, Great acting, Clever

See it if Great show

Don't see it if If you aren’t into politics

91
Thought-provoking, Intelligent, Great acting, Absorbing

See it if Historical events/eras masterfully portrayed through a clear lens, with skilled, talented actors is of interest. Its relevance to now is imp

Don't see it if You,re looking for a Musical.

80
Intense, Profound, Great staging

See it if You like the history of presidents and interested in the story of the government and African-American rights.

Don't see it if You don't like when things are political, since this is a play about politics.

Also The staging and lighting was interesting and worked very well.

75
Dated, Intelligent, Epic, Great staging, Great acting

See it if You’re interested in US politics and history. You’re a fan of LBJ or MLK.

Don't see it if You want a musical or something radical. It’s dense, traditionally written, and definitely favors LBJ.

Also Really strong, mesmerizing ensemble work. Brian Cox was refreshingly a... Read more Read less

During previews
74
Needs trimming, Slow, Great acting, Informative

See it if of the documentary shows of late, this is probably one of the least dry. Interesting staging & great performance. No narration (thank God)

Don't see it if it's still a staged documentary. There's only so much that can be done with no character development & just historical reenactments.

Also The direction is the most engaging of the documentary shows lately (Ju... Read more Read less

During previews
72
Great acting, Overly long, Informative

See it if You are interested in history or want to learn more about the time when LBJ was President. Well acted & well done production.

Don't see it if The show is a little dry and doesn't hold much emotional resonance.

During previews
83
Great ensemble acting, Uneven pacing, Relevant, Great staging, Absorbing

See it if You saw All The Way and liked it it if you like great ensemble pieces. This is staged magnificently. Some parts are pretty intense.

Don't see it if You’re expecting another All The Way. This is a different play with a different cast with a whole different point of view.

Also I saw this during previews and to be honest...it showed. They hadn’t q... Read more Read less

During previews
73
Entertaining, Indulgent, Slow, Thought-provoking

See it if If you want to see a 60s piece about LBJ. Some good acting but slow at times

Don't see it if LBJ could have been better . Actors accent was not good as and not nearly as t as ll as LBJ. At 3 hrs it dragged.

During previews
75
Ambitious, Slow, Dry, Unfocused, Informative

See it if you want to see a docuplay about the fascinating & flawed presidency of LBJ, with a focus (mostly) on Civil Rights battles & the Vietnam War

Don't see it if you expect the intensity, dramatic depth & moving acting of the All The Way. (Cox is an intense, compelling actor, but he's no Cranston.)

Also In all fairness to Brian Cox & Co., this play does not have the nuance... 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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