At South Coast Repertory, on Friday, Sept. 9, there was backslapping, bullying, flattering and placating—all by Hugo Armstrong (as Lyndon Baines Johnson), in the Tony Award-winning All the Way. Joining the Cast Party after the show, Armstrong was quietly genial, unlike LBJ, which just proves what good acting is all about.
He and the 17 other actors (who portray more than 60 characters) were on hand—after basking in the glow of the First Night audience’s standing ovation—for what was, inevitably, a political conversation (given the current race for the White House) but always friendly.
Partygoers enjoyed an upscale twist on LBJ’s Texas barbeque, snacking on fried green tomatoes (caprese), BBQ (chicken on skewers), watermelon (salad), pulled pork (sliders), while sipping Cutty Sark (LBJ’s favorite, served as a whiskey sour)—to tunes from 1963-64.
Special thanks went out to The Family of Hal Schultz, represented by his wife, Melody, her two sons Charles and Jason Schultz, her daughter Marcie Harper and their spouses and Hal’s brother David Schultz and his wife Dawn. One of SCR’s most beloved friends, the late Hal Schultz served on the Board of Trustees from 1990 to 2000, two years as president.
According to his wife, Melody, “It was an absolutely fantastic experience for us! Watching the production come to life from the first read-through of the script through rehearsals and then the premiere performance by the fabulous cast was so enjoyable. To see all of the work that goes on behind the scenes and the many talented people needed to put a production together was an eye opener!”