ALL THE WAY Quick Review

ALL THE WAY presented by Cincinnati Shakespeare Company through Feb. 15. I attended the opening night performance. 

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The Cast: Photo by Mikki Schaffner Photography.

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Jim Hopkins as President Lyndon B. Johnson. Photo by Mikki Schaffner Photography.

If you do not have enough political drama in your life at the moment, then I highly recommend ALL THE WAY, the current offering by Cincy Shakes. The play opens shortly after the assassination of John F. Kennedy on November 22, 1963 and continues through Lyndon B. Johnson’s reelection in November of 1964. Although the story is dense with characters and covers a lot of territory in its 185-minute run time, I never felt overwhelmed thanks to Brian Isaac Phillips focused staging and smart pacing.

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Sylvester Little Jr. as Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr. Photo by Mikki Schaffner Photography.

Across the board, the cast of 17 (portraying more than 40 roles) is excellent. This production showcases the talent and versatility of the ensemble. Jim Hopkins is engaging to watch as LBJ, allowing the audience to see the man beneath all the bluster. Sylvester Little, Jr. portrays Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr. with an outward patience and dignity that does not hide the passion of his beliefs. Actors joining CSC’s ensemble for this production include Michael Bath, Bruce Cromer, Joneal Joplin, “ranney,” Brent Vimtrup, and Kate Wilford.

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Kate Wilford as Lady Bird Johnson & Jim Hopkins as President Lyndon B. Johnson. Photo by Mikki Schaffner Photography.

The pre-recorded video elements looked authentic and worked very well. Great attention to detail was evident in the costuming and props. The set elements and tight lighting design complemented the staging. Truly a showcase for the technical team.

Overall an interesting and engaging historic drama wonderfully told.

On stage seating is available for this production. 

My rating: 5 out of 5.

Click here for more information on the production.

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