bryan_cranston_as_lbj

All the Way With LBJ

Bryan Cranston has left the meth lab. Riding high after his celebrated performance as chemistry teacher turned drug dealer Walter White in “Breaking Bad,” the 57-year-old actor is playing another man possessed by demons — Lyndon Baines Johnson, the antihero of “All the Way,” which begins Broadway previews on February 10. Written by Pulitzer Prize winner Robert Schenkkan, the play opens with the Kennedy assassination and chronicles the tumultuous first year of Johnson’s presidency. Although it enjoyed a sold-out run last fall in Cambridge, Mass., reviews were mixed — some critics said the three-hour historical drama tried to cover too much ground. But no one called it dull, and Cranston got raves. The actor has come a long way since he played Jerry’s dentist on “Seinfeld.” This year he’s showing up in movies ranging from the recently released comedy “Get a Job” to a 3-D remake of “Godzilla.” Still, Walter White aside, it’s hard to imagine a juicier role than the Texan once described by a New York Times columnist as “a human puzzle so complicated nobody can ever understand it” — the folksy, raunchy, supremely persuasive and pathologically insecure LBJ. — John Birmingham

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