Mountain View Voice
Arts & Entertainment - November 9, 2018
'All the Way'
In November, 1963, President John F. Kennedy was assassinated in Texas; his life and the nation's glamorous "Camelot" period cut down in its prime. Left to take up the mantle of his leadership was his Texan vice president, Lyndon B. Johnson, who became commander in chief in the wake of Kennedy's death and found himself in a position of huge power at a critical time for America. This period is the setting for Robert Schenkkan's "All the Way," currently staged by Palo Alto Players. The show is a dense, intense look at Johnson's first term in office, from JFK's brutal assassination to LBJ's landslide victory in the 1964 election. Michael Monagle stars in the lead role of LBJ with a cast portraying a gaggle of politicians, activists and other characters of historical significance, including Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., Fannie Lou Hamer, Sen. Strom Thurmond, F.B.I Director J. Edgar Hoover and many others. Much of the play focuses on Johnson's determination to pass the landmark Civil Rights Act of 1964, which had been proposed by Kennedy but was languishing in Congress. Thwarted by pro-segregationists at every turn, LBJ manages to push the bill forward thanks in part to his mix of compromising and deal-making, bullying and keen understanding of the legislative process. Johnson's legacy has been tainted by the disastrous Vietnam War, which is foreshadowed in the play. But this examination of his early days in office is a good look back at his important role in advancing the United States forward. The show runs at the Lucie Stern Theatre, 130 Middlefield Road, in Palo Alto, Thursdays-Sundays through Nov. 18. Tickets are $31-$46. Go to paplayers.org.
— Karla Kane
'Inspired by Juana: La Do