All the Way with LBJ
For fans of Breaking Bad -- or of politics -- or interesting theater, Bryan Cranston is starring in a new play as Lyndon Johnson, All the Way. It premieres tonight in Boston, and not shockingly the entire limited run is sold out. On the chance that it gets good reviews, it seems likely that the show will transfer to Boston.
The play is by Pulitzer Prize-winning author Robert Schenkkan, who wrote The Kentucky Cycle" It covers the difficult years of transition after Johnson became president following the Kennedy assasination until his re-election, Here's an article by Sarah Rodman from the Boston Globe.
"For a character with such dimension, director Rauch and playwright Schenkkan wanted a very specific kind of actor, and both are big 'Breaking Bad' fans.
“'We thought: Who has not just the charisma to pull off LBJ, but the courage and the skill and the heart and the cojones?' says Rauch. “Bryan was obviously a really thrilling choice, and Robert and I were able to meet with him in his home. And to our unbelievable joy, he said yes!'”
"Cranston says he couldn’t turn it down, and after his wife read the script, she agreed. 'You have to,' she told him."
There is one particularly humorous nod to the future of Breaking Bad in the article (which was posted on August 31), for those looking for clues. The reporter notes how problems are starting to get pretty bad for Cranston's character, Walter White. "Cranston laughs and intones mock-ominously, 'It gets worse before it gets worser.'”
Opposite Cranston in the picture below is Michael McKean who plays J. Edgar Hoover.
9/19/2013 04:30:36 pm
I never would have guessed that McKean was playing J Edgar. He looks more like Kissinger in that picture. McKean is an underrated actor, and I don't think that he has ever given a bad performance, even in some less than stellar projects; but I'm not sure that I'd want to see him play Hoover in a serious piece, even as a secondary character as he is in this play. Him playing Hoover in a Guest comedy, wearing a dress and high heels however sounds like a winner,
9/20/2013 02:25:04 am
Oddly enough, I have a feeling that I don't disagree with with any of your points. Given that Bryan Cranston being known as a TV dad would not have been most people's first choice for Walter White, I'm willing to give McKean a pass here to wait and see -- but he has a longer body of work than Cranston, so we have more a chance to be surprised by the casting. But hopefully he'll surprise in a good way. (And you're right, it's bad hair and make-up for Hoover.)
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Robert J. Elisberg is a political commentator, screenwriter, novelist, tech writer and also some other things that I just tend to keep forgetting.
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