Last week I had the pleasure of going to see All The Way at the American Repertory Theater (the A.R.T.) in Harvard Square. We'd never been to A.R.T., but had heard great things about their productions and knew that anything with Bryan Cranston would be worth going to, so we scooped up tickets as quickly as we could!
All The Way follows LBJ through his first year in office after Kennedy was assassinated. It focuses largely on the Civil Rights Act and the turmoil that ensued as LBJ worked with Martin Luther King, Jr to change history.
The A.R.T.'s website has this to say about the play:
1963. An assassin’s bullet catapults Lyndon B. Johnson into the presidency. A Shakespearean figure of towering ambition and appetite, this charismatic, conflicted Texan hurls himself into the Civil Rights Act, a tinderbox issue emblematic of a divided America. In the Pulitzer Prize–winning playwright’s vivid dramatization of LBJ’s first year in office, means versus ends plays out on the precipice of modern America. This searing, enthralling exploration of the morality of power premiered at the Oregon Shakespeare Festival in 2012.
The entire evening was fantastic. The writing and acting were SO great it had me thinking about the play for days after we saw it. Every person I saw I just HAD to tell about it! We just heard that the playgot picked up for Broadway, so if you're going to be in New York City in the next year, this is a must see!
After the play, we went to get our parking validated and saw about 20 people standing around in the lobby. I asked the attendant why everyone was hanging around and he said all the actors should be coming out in the next 10 minutes, so we decided to stick around and see if we could catch a glimpse of Bryan Cranston. Well, not only did we get to meet Bryan, but we also met about 8 other actors and got several autographs! I was also excited about seeing Dan Butler, who played "Bulldog" on Frasier, and Dakin Matthews, who played the headmaster on Gilmore Girls. It was also great to get to chat with Brandon Dirden, who played Martin Luther King, Jr. Remember the name Brandon Dirden...I think you'll be hearing it often.
Once most everyone else had left, Bryan Cranston came out from the back. He could have easily just waved and gone home (and I would have been happy with the wave), but instead spent 3 or so minutes with each person waiting. He was SO nice and SO down to earth. Before we met him, I told Travis I wanted to invite him to our "Breaking Bad Season 5 Marathon", but he convinced me not to. After meeting Bryan...I'm convinced he would have come. (Come on...don't burst my bubble...) :)