John Lewis Wows ‘Em on Broadway
Lewis, center, entranced the cast of “All the Way” with his tales of the civil rights movement after a performance of the play. (Courtesy the Office of Rep. Steve Israel)
Rep. John Lewis, D-Ga., dazzled the cast of the Broadway play “All The Way” this past Sunday, according to New York Congressman/Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee Chairman/novelist Steve Israel.
“All The Way” is a play about President Lyndon Baines Johnson’s muscling through Civil Rights legislation amid the aftermath of the assassination of President John F. Kennedy.
It’s a subject that Lewis knows well. At the time, Lewis was one of the founding activists of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee. “Oh my God,” Israel said in a Tuesday interview with CQ Roll Call. “It was like sitting next to Billy Joel at a Billy Joel concert.”
Israel saw the play earlier this year, on an outing with some of his DCCC staffers. A few weeks ago, he saw Lewis and asked about the play.
“I saw him on the floor and asked what he thought,” Israel said. Israel was surprised Lewis had not yet seen the play and invited him up to the Big Apple to check it out at the Neil Simon Theatre.
“Sitting next to him, he would lean over in certain secenes and say, ‘That’s exactly how it happened,’ ” Israel said of his vantage point in the play.
Israel added that the actors came out to speak with Lewis after the play and were entranced with his tales of the era.
“Usually, people ask performers if they can take their pictures with them,” Israel said. “In this case, the performers were asking if they could take their picture with him.”
Want to catch the show? Hurry. The play’s run ends June 29, according to its official website.