Brian Cox will play President Lyndon Johnson in the Broadway run of “The Great Society,” playwright Robert Schenkkan’s follow-up to “All the Way.”
The role of Johnson, a crude, but visionary politician who used the office of the presidency to pass landmark civil rights legislation and social programs, was originally played by Bryan Cranston in “All the Way.” It won the actor a Tony. Cranston reprised the role in an HBO television production of the play.
Cox is an acting heavyweight who has appeared in indie fare such as “L.I.E.” and “The 25th Hour,” as well as big-budget movies such as “Troy” and “The Bourne Supremacy.” He was previously on Broadway in the 2011 revival of “That Championship Season” and the 2007 production of Tom Stoppard’s “Rock ‘n’ Roll.” Cox is currently playing a Rupert Murdoch-like media baron in HBO’s “Succession.”
The cast will also include Marc Kudisch as Richard J. Daley, Grantham Coleman as Martin Luther King Jr., and Richard Thomas as Hubert Humphrey. Casting for other key roles, such as those of Richard Nixon, Senator Robert F. Kennedy, Coretta Scott King, Lady Bird Johnson, and J. Edgar Hoover are ongoing.
“The Great Society” will focus on the latter half of Johnson’s presidency. A period that saw his domestic ambitions derailed as the war in Vietnam escalated.
Bill Rauch, who previously oversaw “All The Way,” will direct this production. Performances of the 12-week limited engagement will begin Sept. 6 at the Vivian Beaumont Theater.