‘All the Way’ Review: The Pressures of the Highest Office

"All the Way” opens with sights all too painfully familiar—a hospital in Dallas; outside and in, knots of brokenhearted Americans waiting to know whether the president will live or die. Inside, under protection of a heavily armed guard, Vice President Lyndon B. Johnson ( Bryan Cranston) and his wife, Lady Bird ( Melissa Leo), are informed that President John F. Kennedy is dead. The next voice is that of Lady Bird. “Lyndon—wake up, honey. We’re about to land in Washington.” There’s no going back from here." To read more, click here.

Review: Bryan Cranston Shines as Lyndon Johnson in ‘All the Way’

Bryan Cranston brings his Tony Award-winning interpretation of President Lyndon B. Johnson to television on Saturday night in an adaptation of the Robert Schenkkan play “All the Way,” and it’s still quite a sight to behold, just as it was on Broadway in 2014. Nothing beats witnessing this kind of larger-than-life portrayal onstage, of course. But the television version, presented by HBO, offers plenty of rewards, allowing Mr. Cranston to work the close-ups and liberating him from the confines of a theater set. In his hands, this accidental president comes across as an amazing bundle of contradictions, someone who seems at once too vulgar for the job and just right for it. To read more, click here.

Bryan Cranston takes his L.B.J. to TV in ‘All the Way’

There is no way to spoil the end of HBO’s “All the Way.” The final scene is the same as it was in the 2014 Broadway play on which it’s based and the same as what actually happened in November 1964. Lyndon B. Johnson wins, and it’s a landslide. A bungalow in the foothills an hour northwest of Hollywood stands in for the patio of Johnson’s Texas ranch. Here at dusk on a cool September evening, vans began dropping off the 120 extras from a base camp several miles away. The night’s scene was an intricate Steadicam shot that would travel 360 degrees around Bryan Cranston and Melissa Leo, who play President and Lady Bird Johnson. “This is the night of the election,” said the director, Jay Roach, standing on set a few hours before the overnight shoot was to begin. “L.B.J. gets the news here with this vocal party of Democratic operatives and Hubert Humphrey and Lady Bird.” To read more, click here.

Bryan Cranston takes his L.B.J. to TV in ‘All the Way’

"THOUSAND OAKS, CALIF. — There is no way to spoil the end of HBO’s “All the Way.” The final scene is the same as it was in the 2014 Broadway play on which it’s based and the same as what actually happened in November 1964. Lyndon B. Johnson wins, and it’s a landslide." To read more, click here.

All the Way at Arena Stage (review)

"Who says that only the British can have history plays? Robert Schenkkan’s profound, magnificent, epic All the Way is every bit as tragic as Richard III, but more accurate, and every bit as inspiring as Henry V, but more comprehensive. Like all real history plays, it brings us into the heart not only of its protagonist’s dilemma, but the dilemmas of those around him — the guileful slave-state representatives, led by Sen. Richard Russell (D.-Ga.) (Lawrence Redmond), the bileful J. Edgar Hoover (Richmond Hoxie), obsessed with the sex life of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., and, most importantly, King himself (Bowman Wright), struggling to keep the movement together in the face of the ambitions of younger members, such as Stokely Carmichael (Jaben Early), who are impatient, mistrustful, and ready for direct action." To read more, click here.

Robert Schenkkan on LBJ: 'People loved or hated him, often in the same moment'

"Donald Trump truly represents the final convergence of politics and showbusiness. He ruled The Apprentice on television for more than a decade. His election campaign rallies feature songs by Elton John and the Rolling Stones and, incongruously, Luciano Pavarotti’s rendition of Nessun Dorma. He flies in by helicopter to the theme music from Air Force One." To read more, click here.

Review: ‘All the Way’ at Arena Stage

"Lyndon Baines Johnson, popularly known as “LBJ,” was one of our best presidents, and also one of our worst. Truly a study in contrasts, he could evince both strength and weakness at the same time. LBJ once said to Congress “We will overcome!” and followed up with the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Voting Rights Act of 1965—both of which revolutionized our country. But, while his “war on poverty” was a noble attempt, he was also responsible for what many consider to be the needless deaths of tens of thousands of Americans in Vietnam." To read more, click here.

Sid Davis, eyewitness to LBJ’s defining moments, on All the Way

"To memories dulled by the passage of time, Lyndon Johnson seems like a bumptious interloper on the smooth passage between Jack Kennedy’s understated elegance and Richard Nixon’s dark suasions. He seems undereducated, flat-footed and trite, overmatched and undone by the Viet Nam war. We think of him as a minor character, pitiable, perhaps. Robert Schenkkan knows we’re wrong." To read more, click here.

Progressive Playwright: Robert Schenkkan "All the Way" scribe Robert Schenkkan is convinced that progress in LGBT rights is inevitable

"Robert Schenkkan is disturbed by what transpired in his birth state of North Carolina just before Easter, when legislators rammed through a law banning local anti-discrimination ordinances." To read more, click here

Done Deal

Dallas — “Any jackass can kick a barn down, but it takes a carpenter to build one,” says Lyndon Baines Johnson, reflecting on a southern Democrat intent on hijacking the 36th president’s push to pass a Civil Rights bill.

LBJ tells it like it is. He also knows the carpenter has to saw and hammer the wood—or whatever else needs shaping—to build anything. Pondering on all the sweet-talk, wheedling and ruthless deal-making it takes to leverage the forces of power to create a better world, he goes on: “Nothin’ comes free. Nothin'." Not even good,” he says, staring into the distance." To read more, click here.