Emmy Winner and The Great Society Star Gordon Clapp Talks Broadway, Cops, and Robert Frost
Today, I am proud to welcome Gordon Clapp. Best known for his Emmy-winning turn as Detective Greg Medavoy on NYPD Blue, Clapp is currently co-starring in the Broadway production of A Great Society, where he portrays the infamous FBI director, J. Edgar Hoover.
The Great Society is the second part in Robert Schenkkan’s pair of tomes about the presidential tenure of Lyndon B. Johnson. The first, All the Way, played Broadway in 2015, with Breaking Bad star Bryan Cranston portraying the larger-than-life president.
In this sequel, which focuses on the second half of Johnson’s presidency, the legend of politics is portrayed by a legend theater and film: Brian Cox, currently also starring in HBO’s Succession.
The show is an amazingly-paced, thrilling retelling of the second half of Johnson’s presidency. From the Voting Rights Act to Johnson’s reelection bid, Schenkkan tells it all in great detail. At the heart of this play is the relationship Johnson had with many of his close advisors, including J. Edgar Hoover.
I had a chance to talk with Gordon Clapp about getting inside the mind of such a uniquely enigmatic figure, and how he navigated his Hoover’s relationship with Brian Cox’s President Johnson. Clapp also makes some associations between his Great Society character, and Detective Medavoy on NYPD Blue–both are lawmen. Plus, Gordon fills us in on his passion project: a one-man show on the life of another enigmatic figure: Robert Frost. He can find a bit of Frost, says Clapp, in all of his characters.
Even if you did not see the first installment, you will love this. My political thriller junkies–this is for you. Even if you think you know the history, you have never seen or heard it told like this. The Great Society plays at the Vivian Beaumont at Lincoln Center Theater.