Do Not Miss

W‘s arts and culture director’s must-see plays for spring.

Bryan Cranston.

Walter White is no longer with us, but Bryan Cranston, the actor who inhabited him so memorably in the Emmy-winning Breaking Bad, returns to make his Broadway debut, playing another figure of towering ambition: Lyndon B. Johnson. “He swung so wide on the spectrum of human emotion in order to accomplish what he felt needed to be done,” Cranston said of his attraction to the lead role in Robert Schenkkan’s play about L.B.J.’s tumultuous first year as president. With Michael McKean as J. Edgar Hoover and Brandon J. Dirden as Martin Luther King Jr., All the Way (March 6 through June 29 at the Neil Simon Theatre) is one history lesson you won’t want to skip. Another unmissable play is David Grimm’s Tales From Red Vienna, about a widow who gets caught up in the criminal life after her husband is killed in World War I. Nina Arianda, who won a Tony in 2012 for her turn as a dominatrix in Venus in Fur * (and drew comparisons to Meryl Streep from Mike Nichols) stars as the widow (running March 18 through April 27 at Manhattan Theater Club). Then there’s The Realistic Joneses, the darkly funny new drama by the talented Will Eno (opening April 6), which boasts Sam Gold as director as well as one of the year’s most inspired ensemble casts: Toni Collette, Michael C. Hall, Marisa Tomei, and Tracy Letts, the Tony-winning actor and the author of August: Osage County.* Book your seats early.