Sunday, March 30, 2014

All The Way

Yesterday afternoon, before my expedition to Big Apple Badger country, I went to the theatre district and got a single ticket to see the 2 pm matinee of All The Way.  The title is based on the 1964 presidential campaign slogan of Lyndon Johnson--All The Way with LBJ.  

It is a long, but excellent show which earned every bit of the standing ovation at its end.  Nobody reluctantly bounced up at the end, this standing ovation was like 90 per cent of the audience jerked up as if they had been pricked by a pitchfork.

The lead in the show was Bryan Cranston--the Breaking Bad guy--and he was on stage for the entire three hours discounting, of course, intermission.  Cranston as Johnson interacts with Martin Luther King, Hoover, Humphrey, Lady Byrd, his assistant, Katharine Graham, George Wallace, Mississippi's James Eastland, and assorted others. He is on stage and the center of the dialogue for the entire three hours.

What is most amazing about what I saw, though, was not the play--which was really good if you like politics and that era--what is most amazing is that I saw the matinee and Cranston was--just three hours after he finished a three hour play--going to do it all over again for a Saturday night audience.  You had to see how much energy was involved in his performance to marvel sufficiently when considering that he would do this twice in one day.

Not everything is related to sports, but I think that in theatre and in sport there is this one similarity. The great ones get it up every time they get on stage or get on a court.  John Havlicek, a great-- sometimes unfortunately forgotten Boston Celtic--used to say that in the playoffs particularly, he would go "as hard as I can for as long as I can".

Whatever we do, it would be good to keep in mind what Bryan Cranston and Havlicek did by example. Give everything you got, every time you have to do it.  More than the show--which was terrific--I think that message is what I will take away from seeing the matinee yesterday and knowing he was coming back to do it again three hours later.

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