“Politics is war,” said Brandon Potter, the actor portraying 36th U.S. President Lyndon B. Johnson, in the play “All the Way.” Created by playwright Robert Schenkkan, “All the Way” has won numerous awards, including a Tony Award for Best Play in 2014. “All the Way” is featured at the Alley Theatre until Feb. 21.
So why should you take the time to watch this play instead of the newest Nicholas Sparks movie? Here are a few good reasons:
The issues represented in this play are relevant.
The caucuses are beginning and politicians are feeding you hours of speeches in an attempt to influence your vote. Are those debates and campaigns all it takes to get elected? Not even close. “All the Way” focuses on the presidential election of 1964. It gives the viewer a look into what is going on behind the smiles and waves of the politicians. “All the Way” showcases the risky deals, gritty fights, important phone calls and the pains that a politician welcomes in when they choose to run.
Black Lives Matter, Police Lives Matter, All Lives Matter — these are the chants that we hear today in our own political sphere. Our present day issues have roots in the civil rights story of Lyndon Baines Johnson and Martin Luther King Jr. that “All the Way” skillfully portrays. The Civil Rights Act of 1864 is a main feature of this play, and “All the Way” does not just focus on the White House; it shows the fight for the equality by Martin Luther King Jr., NAACP (National Association for the Advancement for Colored People) and the SNCC (Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee). These groups and their struggles may be different today, but it is important to look back so we can make better choices moving forward.
The experience is well worth it.
There is something incredible about dressing up, walking into a grand theater and clutching your play bill. The renovated Alley Theatre is beautiful, with a red, carpeted spiral staircase, comfy seats and immaculate stage design.
“All the Way” won a Tony Award for Best Play.
That is not an easy thing to do. While I’m no play critic, I am college student that does not want to waste his time, and “All the Way” did not disappoint. The play added immense value to those few hours thanks to its grandiose set design, masterful acting and candid discussion of the civil rights movement.
It’s relatively cheap.
Tickets start at $26 per person, and there aren’t any bad seats. That price should not scare you, and if it does, you should work on your financials. There aren’t many opportunities to see a play of this stature for $26.
Overall, the acting was great, the content was genuinely interesting, and the Alley Theatre is beautiful. Go see “All the Way,” and spend an evening having a great experience you won’t soon forget.