Bryan Cranston meets Broadway press, readies to play LBJ
Bryan Cranston is riding high following his recent wins for lead actor in a drama series at the Golden Globes and the Screen Actors Guild Awards. But will his talents sway the notoriously difficult-to-please Broadway media, known for eating Hollywood carpetbaggers for lunch?
The former “Breaking Bad” and “Malcolm in the Middle” actor met with the Broadway press on Wednesday to promote the New York engagement of “All the Way,” in which he plays President Lyndon B. Johnson. Cranston previously appeared in the play, written by Robert Schenkkan, at the American Repertory Theater in Massachusetts last year.
The production is scheduled to begin performances Feb. 10 at the Neil Simon Theatre, with an official opening set for March 6. The story depicts the early period of LBJ’s presidency and his relationship with key political figures, including the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr., FBI director J. Edgar Hoover and Sen. Richard Russell Jr.
“All the Way” originated at the Oregon Shakespeare Festival, where it premiered in 2012 with a different cast. Bill Rauch, artistic director of the Oregon Shakespeare Festival, will direct the Broadway transfer. The play ran close to three hours and received mixed reviews for its A.R.T. run.
The production marks Cranston’s first time performing on Broadway. “I wanted to wait for something that had meaning, that really had resonance, that was historically important, socially important and entertaining,” he said in an interview with Reuters. “And ‘All the Way’ is all of that.”
The Los Angeles native got his early start on the stage in regional theater in Southern California.
In 2006, Cranston appeared in a Geffen Playhouse production of Sam Shepard’s “The God of Hell” that was directed by Jason Alexander.
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