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

During previews
74
Epic, Great staging

See it if You are interested in American history and enjoy multi-character large scale plays. Wonderful direction.

Don't see it if Don’t enjoy large scale plays. Some characters are well drawn while others come off as cartoonish. Uneven performances.

Also This was a preview and the production appears to be still finding its ... Read more Read less

During previews
80
Long, Great acting, Ambitious

See it if You want a reenactment of the last years of Johnson's presidency by incredibly talented actors. You want to learn about this time period

Don't see it if You cant stay focused/seated for long periods of time (3hs), you dont like political plays, have no interest in the late 60's

Also I have to admit i was not initially interested in the show, and knew j... Read more Read less

During previews
90
Funny, Great acting, Great writing, Resonant, Thought-provoking

See it if Wonderful acting appeals to you. Great staging of a historical drama. funny yet grave, compelling and disheartening.

Don't see it if You want to see something light hearted.

During previews
76
Intelligent, Great staging, Great acting

See it if you want a historic political play-by-play play with great acting that's easy to follow and sometimes inspiring. I learned some things.

Don't see it if you are looking for escapism and want pure entertainment. This is a docu-drama. I didn't think I'd be into it but was.

Also Spend 5 minutes seeing who plays who first as it will make it easier t... Read more Read less

During previews
72
Doesn't ring quite true

See it if You like political plays, but be aware it's not a patch on All the Way.

Don't see it if LBJ's political genius reduced to one trick/stretches involved to make it relevant today will collide with your accurate historical sense.

During previews
87
Great acting, Absorbing

See it if You want to see good acting and appreciate good staging and lighting. A good interpretation of politics in action.

Don't see it if You are tired of LBJ's style of "getting things done" Find it hard to sit through three hours of this

During previews
75
Masterful, Great writing, Great staging, Epic, Entertaining

See it if You like history and want to be back in the time of Martin Luther King. Great writing acting and staging , a must see!

Don't see it if If you like comedy’s and short one act shows, if you don’t care to take an in Depth look at the life of LBJ. Brian Cox triumphs!

During previews
88
Thought-provoking, Intelligent, Great acting

See it if If you remember LBJ or not, the politics and protests of the 60's, and a flawed Pres. leading after JFK. Acting and script are superb.

Don't see it if You loved Nixon. Play needs 10-15 minutes cut from each act: runs 3 hours.

During previews
72
Intelligent, Ambitious, Great staging

See it if you like history based plays, interested in the social climate of the 1960s

Don't see it if don't like plays without a plot, this is a re-telling of a portion of LBJ"s presidency

Also It was fine play, overall good acting

During previews
86
Relevant, Intelligent, Great staging, Ambitious, Absorbing

See it if you're interested in political history, LBJ, and the foundations that have shaped our country.

Don't see it if you only like fluffy comedies or historical dramas in which the actors convey exacting replicas of their famous protagonists

During previews
90
Relevant, Intelligent, Absorbing

See it if you enjoy political stories/movies, such as "All the Way" and "All the President's Men"

Don't see it if you dislike politically based stories

During previews
82
Intelligent, Great writing, Great staging, Great acting, Absorbing

See it if You like historical pieces

Don't see it if You don’t like shows revolving around history

During previews
70
Slow, Intense, Dizzying, Ambitious, Absorbing

See it if You enjoy historical plays

Don't see it if you bore easily while watching history performed relentless at the same tone

During previews
85
Relevant, Thought-provoking, Great acting, Ambitious, Absorbing

See it if you're a history buff or interested in politics, the revolutionary 1960’s, civil rights, or just like too see absorbing, intelligent dramas.

Don't see it if you want mindless entertainment or a lighthearted evening out. This is an epic piece that you will discuss and think about after you exit.

During previews
93
A smart history play, Intelligent, Great staging, Great acting, Absorbing

See it if a cast of pros led by Brian Cox tells the story of LBJ's struggle to make a "Great Society"despite the Viet Nam war and racial tensions

Don't see it if you do not appreciate a well-told, well acted history play about an important era in American history

During previews
78
Ambitious, Great acting, Absorbing

See it if great acting and informative if you are interested in history

Don't see it if overly long, and if you are not interested in history you will be bored

During previews
76
Intelligent, Relevant, Disappointing, Intense, Thought-provoking

See it if You're interested in Presidential history and particularly the Civil Right Movement

Don't see it if Like plays that are well cast, concise, organized, and have a few serene moments hysterical scenes

During previews
84
Relevant, Thought-provoking, Great acting

See it if Enjoy shows about history

Don't see it if Don't enjoy shows about history

During previews
70
Great staging, Disappointing, Ambitious

See it if You want to see a continuation of the LBJ story, initially began in ALL THE WAY...

Don't see it if You're bored with 3 hour (plus) plays.

Also After having only recently seen the HBO film version of the play ALL T... Read more Read less

During previews
85
Thought-provoking, Relevant, Intelligent, Great acting, Absorbing

See it if Well constructed compression of the last years of LBJ's presidency. Straightforward, if unsurprising. Smartly acted.

Don't see it if you don't care about politics. In which case why are you going to the theater at all? All life is politics.

During previews
76
Indulgent, Relevant, Intense, Great writing, Great acting

See it if You love history and are interested in a deep dive into LBJ's presidency.

Don't see it if You don't have the stamina for a 3 hour play filled with lengthy scenes.

During previews
93
Resonant, Epic, Dated, Entertaining, Ambitious

See it if You love to see the room where it happens and a reflection on our current times.

Don't see it if You like musicals and don't want to see where we came from and where we're headed.

Also Its so rare to see such a large scale production of a straight play. I... Read more Read less

During previews
87
Resonant, Great staging, Ambitious

See it if You are fascinated by American politics and political history. It feels epic and comprehensive in the way it covers a specific timeframe

Don't see it if You are expecting a moving, personal relationship drama. (It's almost like a theatrical history lesson, but very well presented.)

During previews
70
Docudrama, Overrated, Slow, Ambitious

See it if you’re a student of History or enjoy docudramas. The play is well staged but lacks theatrical sizzle & deeper insight into its characters.

Don't see it if you need fast-paced plays that challenge your ideas & emotions. This often seems more like a re-enactment of history than exciting theatre.

Also Although, I admired “The Great Society” for all of its ambitions, this... Read more Read less

During previews
75
Intelligent, Disappointing, Ambitious

See it if You want to be reminded of the Johnson Presidency, mostly Vietnam and Selma...and not much else.

Don't see it if You'd appreciate more than a well-done history lesson, namely a moving exploration of how the consequences of his actions affected Johnson.


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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