Running since February 2014 Emmy winner Bryan Cranston plays Lyndon Baines Johnson in Robert Schenkkan's bio-drama about the 36th President's tumultuous first year in office. Winner of 2 Tony Awards, including Best Play.
The Broadway production of All the Way closed June 29, 2014. For current Broadway show listings and tickets, please click here.
From the producers: "All the Way" takes audiences behind the doors of the Oval Office during a period that changed America forever. The nation was recovering from a great tragedy and the world was in turmoil, but in the midst of this impossible situation, LBJ dared to champion a landmark civil rights bill.
Bryan Cranston, who earned three consecutive Emmy Awards for the dramatic TV series "Breaking Bad," will make his Broadway debut in "All The Way." Reviewing an earlier production, the NY Times' Charles Isherwood said "Cranston cuts a vigorous, imposing figure, employing a drawl as wide as the Rio Grande." (full review)
"All The Way" features an ensemble of 20 actors portraying Martin Luther King Jr., Hubert Humphrey, George Wallace, J. Edgar Hoover, Lady Bird Johnson and many more historical figures.
Playwright Robert Schenkkan won a Pulitzer Prize for Drama in 1992 for "The Kentucky Cycle." In 2010, Schenkkan received two Emmy nominations for the HBO miniseries "The Pacific."
Watching Cranston bully, threaten, feel sorry for himself, compromise, bellow and turn the knife is a hoot, no matter which side of the aisle you sit. [Director] Rauch keeps this jigsaw puzzle humming along. Schenkkan's script is a little crammed and nonstop frantic, but he ensures it never feels like a dry history lesson.
Cranston delivers an exuberant, entertaining portrayal. With Johnson winning every one of his encounters, suspense does not run high during the evening. "All the Way" is always interesting, but not dramatically gripping in the way that a story told through human relationships can be. Its running time of nearly three hours seems awfully long.
New York Daily News
Talky but terrifically acted...Cranston drives this star vehicle with an uncanny authority and confidence...fiery, ferocious, scary and, quite often very funny. The dialogue can be potent...but there are clunkers and clichés, too. It's also longwinded. Even when "All the Way" comes up short, Cranston consistently gives a contact high.
New York Magazine
Thanks to a titanic central performance by Cranston, "All the Way" restores to [LBJ] a tragic, even Shakespearean greatness. Schenkkan is careful with facts, though they're juggled; his dialogue, surely partly imagined, sounds convincing enough. By the last fifteen minutes, the dramaturgy is reduced to choral recitations of poll numbers...a sign of theatrical exhaustion.
New York Post
What Cranston has in spades is presence. He has a death grip on our attention whenever he's onstage, which luckily is most of the time. Luckily, because Schenkkan's by-the-numbers historical drama isn't as compelling as its star. Director Rauch keeps things moving smoothly. But it's not quite enough to keep the show's energy from flagging in the second act.
New York Times
Dense but mostly absorbing...Cranston's heat-generating performance galvanizes the production. Even when Johnson is offstage or the writing sags with exposition, the show, directed solidly if a little stolidly by Rauch, retains the vitalizing imprint of his performance. But many other characters are merely sketched in...the play sorely needs streamlining.
Ambitious and didactic...this feels like a fascinating one-man show in a high school history pamphlet. Director Rauch moves all the different people briskly on a tidy set. Through it all, Cranston's LBJ feels a bit like a caricature, but one that's compelling and fun to watch. Bottom line: Fascinating Cranston, didactic drama.
Time Out New York
Cranston's galvanic turn and the layered, polyphonic production take the dried facts of history and make them walk, talk and kick ass to victory. Director Rauch keeps the action flowing. Even if the script sometimes lapses into History Channel expositional mode, its humor and passion never lag-and neither does Cranston.
Schenkkan embraces LBJ's well-documented penchant for raw language, and other traits, without reserve - and Cranston plays them with relish. [He] delivers the emphatic, crowd-pleasing performance that the play, and Rauch's vigorous direction, require, while also making Johnson affecting as a flesh-and-blood human being.
Wall Street Journal
Yes, it's a caricature, and a garish one at that, but Cranston makes you believe in what you're seeing and hearing. Not so his hard-working colleagues, most of whom struggle with Schenkkan's overstuffed pageant-style recounting. Rauch has staged "All the Way" with a fluid physical vitality that makes the script seem smoother than it is.
June 23, 2014
Amazing!!! After a while you forgot that this was a play. I can't believe how good an actor Mr. Cranston is!!!!!!!!!!
June 12, 2014
Excellent. Evoked many memories. The political manouvering was brillianant. The pace was so fast that the time flew, and I was surprised when it ended.
April 22, 2014
The play and acting were terrific.
The seats at the Neil Simon theater are worse than economy on Spirit Airlines - thin and no leg room.
Do you think that they could squeeze more people in. I'll never return to this theater.