In a season full of exciting plays, “All the Way,” starring Bryan Cranston, is one of the quieter ones.
“All The Way,” written by Robert Shenkkan, opened March 6 for a limited engagement. It follows the sudden presidential inheritance of Lyndon B. Johnson followed by his turbulent campaign to officially inherit the title in the next election year.
Of course that means this history play isn’t about the outcome. It’s all about the process of getting there. LBJ buffs will surely delight in Cranston’s shrewd and glib representation of the iconic Southern Democrat. Others may learn some new facts about the changing tides in 1964 — in the midst of civil rights uprisings and escalating global tension, pre-Vietnam.
Staged simply but plotted exhaustively, the show may wear out audience members who fail to plan for three hours of men in suits bickering (with one intermission). If you marathoned all of Season 2 of “House of Cards” in its first weekend, this may be up your alley. Otherwise, you might be glad to have seen it, especially with the impressive Cranston at the helm, but you won’t exactly be preordering tickets to the upcoming sequel.
What, you thought the story stopped there? In ’64, LBJ was just getting started.