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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

During previews
80
Thought-provoking, Intense, Intelligent, Great acting

See it if Want to know another "his story" about person who all of a sudden became Mr.President.His way of understanding and solving hard situations.

Don't see it if Stubborn enough to blame Johnson for everything that happened in 1960th without admitting good things that he did for the country

Also Cute idea with voting booths in a lobby did not fully work as computer... Read more Read less

During previews
70
Ambitious

See it if You're a history student. This gives a good overview of what happened during the LBJ years.

Don't see it if Perhaps this is the preview, but Cox seemed lost at times, not secure in his lines. The cast plays multiple roles that aren't well defined.

During previews
80
Disappointing, Interesting, Fast-paced

See it if you enjoy watching how the political 'sausage' is being made, revisiting some exciting and devastating years in US history and a large cast.

Don't see it if you're expecting the same focus, energy & wit of All The Way. Cox is fine, but Cranston was a far better LBJ. Second act lags & loses steam.

During previews
79
Thought-provoking, Resonant, Relevant, Absorbing

See it if LBJ is a fascinating bastard. He's shown here going from idealist to broken man. It's well done and important to see, but it's a sad arc.

Don't see it if It's intense, dry, & has a lot of cursing, racist language, & violence in it. Lots of flubbed lines. Cox is great, but I didn't buy his LBJ.

During previews
80
Thought-provoking, Relevant, Intelligent, Clever

See it if You enjoy history or politics during lbj's final years in office. You enjoy a play with many actors playing multiple roles

Don't see it if You have a short attention span and difficulty spending almost 3 hours on a political story from 50 years ago.

Also I think they have made some improvements reading from prior reviews. I... Read more Read less

During previews
75
Slow, Relevant, Resonant, Thought-provoking, Ambitious

See it if You like plays about history, you are interested in Lyndon Johnson, Vietnam, and The Great Society

Don't see it if you are expecting the same caliber of performances as in All the Way

Also There were great moments in this show, but the play veered off-topic t... Read more Read less

During previews
79
Masterful, Overrated, Relevant, Thought-provoking

See it if if you are a history fan and historical fiction- almost 3 hours of us politics- in context and examining current politics. Large cast

Don't see it if if you are tired of long historic drama - Brian Cox does not quite pull of LBJ

During previews
90
Great reminder of mid 60s history, Relevant, Great acting, Intelligent, Thought-provoking

See it if you are interested in LBJ, the social reforms he wanted to pass, the Civil Rights movement, the escalation in the war in Vietnam.

Don't see it if you are not interested in the historic events taking place in 1965-68 or in history in general.

Also I was too young to remember this part of history well and I did enjoy ... Read more Read less

During previews
75
Slow, Resonant, Great acting, Ambitious

See it if you like plays that replay a version of relatively recent history through the actions of a central character.

Don't see it if you don't like long wordy plays with multiple characters interacting in complex ways.

Also This play is very long and probably a bit over-ambitious. Brian Cox ma... Read more Read less

During previews
70
Insipid, Disappointing, Ambitious, Absorbing

See it if You’re interested in U.S. history, LBJ’s presidency. Civil rights, Vietnam, healthcare advancements are touched upon.

Don't see it if You’re not a fan of historical plays. Feels like a long history lesson. You want new insights or a unique point of view from the playwright.

Also I was engrossed in the story. I’m not from the U.S., and don’t know mu... Read more Read less

During previews
86
Intense, Great writing, Great acting, Ambitious, Absorbing

See it if You like History and are interested in LBJ, The show would benefit if it were 3 acts, not 2.

Don't see it if You have no interest in LBJ or US history

During previews
78
Overrated, Relevant, Great acting, Ambitious, Absorbing

See it if You enjoy historical dramas with a name dropping cast though many are not given the opportunity to fully develop their character.

Don't see it if You would rather see a Ken Burns series of the time on PBS. Too long, underdeveloped at times, and doesn’t truly portray the enormity

Also of the tensions of the varying issues of the times. Can’t say it is ep... Read more Read less

During previews
90
Thought-provoking, Great staging, Great acting

See it if you want to see how LBJ was able to do politics at his best. Each actor brings so much to his role and makes it a most enjoyable evening at

Don't see it if you do not like politics or do not want to learn more about LBJ's presidency.

During previews
85
Well directed, Relevant, Absorbing

See it if you saw the prequel "All the Way" and liked it; enjoy American history; are a fan of Brian Cox.

Don't see it if talky history plays may bore you; you want something on the short side.

During previews
80
Resonant, Absorbing, Relevant, Profound, Masterful

See it if You saw All The Way. Absorbing history.

Don't see it if If you are expecting to see LBJ portrayed as brilliantly as Bryan Cranston you will be disappointed. Brian Cox is adequate.

During previews
92
Relevant, Intelligent, Great acting, Great writing

See it if you like historical drama - esp Lyndon Johnson

Don't see it if long, historical drama bores you

Also Lyndon B Johnson last years of his presidency. ... Read more Read less

During previews
75
Ambitious, Intense, Absorbing

See it if You need a reminder of the turbulence of the late '60's...or if you are too young to remember at all.

Don't see it if You cannot sit for almost 3 hours....or are not interested in the Civil Rights movement and the Vietnam more debacle.

Also The second act needs to be 15-20 minutes shorter!

During previews
79
Thought-provoking, Intelligent

See it if You are interested in history and politics during LBJ’s presidency. This reminds of his relationships with MLK, Bobby Kennedy, and Vietnam

Don't see it if You have no interest in this time period.

During previews
75
Intelligent, Absorbing

See it if Want to get a refresher course in mid 60's American History

Don't see it if DO not like American History

Also The last 10 minutes of the show in the white House Between Johnson and... Read more Read less

During previews
80
Masterful, Intense, Epic, Great acting, Too long

See it if You like Brian Cox’s acting and are interested in American history from 1965-68. Without some knowledge of the era, you may get confused.

Don't see it if You don’t want to sit for nearly 3 hours. If you didn’t like Oslo.

Also I can’t believe that there was none of the music from the sixties in t... Read more Read less

During previews
75
Misses the mark; too long, Disappointing, Great writing, Ambitious

See it if you like: a well written political drama performed by a large talented cast; LBJ; the politics of the 1960's; anything at Lincoln Center.

Don't see it if you don't like: a long play (ran just under 3 hours w/ intermission) that gets lost, at times ,because it tries to cover too much material.

During previews
76
Thought-provoking, Relevant, Absorbing

See it if A refresher course in the history of the US from 1965-1968. Well done but a little too educational. Well acted by Brian Cox and a very large

Don't see it if You are not interested in the history of our country.

During previews
70
Ambitious, Slow, Funny, Great acting, Absorbing

See it if You want to see the amazing Brian Cox live and learn more about what went on when LBJ was president.

Don't see it if You can't sit still for long periods of time. The second act took forever.

During previews
80
Thought-provoking, Relevant, Great staging, Great acting

See it if you like historical drama and are interested in the LBJ presidency during the turbulent 1960s.

Don't see it if you don't like historical drama or aren't interested in this period.

Also The play is primarily a character study of LBJ in the final years of h... Read more Read less

During previews
79
Relevant, Thought-provoking, Slow, Great acting, Absorbing

See it if you have seen everything, but have nothing better to do... the acting and production are the best things.

Don't see it if you do not want to sit through an almost three-hour drama, that's a bit on the slow side.

Also The cast was quite good, the direction, set, production was all very p... 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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