The Great Society
“The Great Society”, a sequel to the Tony-winning drama “All The Way”, once again features the extraordinary actor Jack Willis bigger than life as Lyndon Baines Johnson. And once again, this is a role that fits him like a glove. His bluster has power, his wit is sharp as a razor and everyone he deals with is a chess piece. Scene after scene is engineered to show him persuading or shoving them into place. A handshake is almost certainly a strong-arm in disguise. He is magnificent with the character’s high and low style and as he spins down-home anecdotes, he makes the stage all his. Truly another Tour de Force!!
We pick up where we left off. LBJ has won his historic landslide victory and launches into the incredibly ambitious remaking of American society. Thus begins the agony and the ecstasy of his time in the Oval Office. Unmatched legislation included Medicare, Medicaid and the Voting Rights Act and are now part and parcel of everything in America. But there was also his nemesis---- the Vietnam War.
In a starry parade of 1960s figures, we meet Robert McNamara with updates from Vietnam, Martin Luther King Jr. talking strategy about Selma, George Wallace holding his ground as the recalcitrant Alabama governor and Robert Kennedy constantly rubbing Johnson the wrong way.
Robert Schenkkan, the playwright, paints a vivid picture of an LBJ who increasingly compromised and lied and in so doing, evokes not only the Washington of the Pentagon Papers but also Watergate.
As was then, we are, today, mired in a long standing war. We are in another moment of racism and civil rights. We are once again fighting about health care. And we are still in disagreement about what role the federal government should play. They were hot-button issues from 1964 to ’68 and they still are in 2018. It doesn’t get more relevant than that.
Although we’re under the gun to make this happen rather quickly, we hope we can be as persuasive as LBJ. Don’t be in “agony” because you missed out on this incredible, political thrill ride. Rather be in “ecstasy” having seen such a brilliant piece of theater.
Saturday, March 10 @ $190.00 for premium seats and post-show talk with the cast
Our bus departs at 12:15 pm. Feel free to bring lunch---we’ll be serving dessert and cold drinks. Arrival home at approximately 6:30 pm with snacks and cold drinks en route.
Payment in full required upon booking