To Kill a Mockingbird BROADWAY REVIEWS

Photo: Julieta Cervantes



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Opening Night:
December 13, 2018
Open Ended

Theater: Shubert Theatre / 225 West 44th Street, New York, NY, 10036


The world premiere of Academy Award winner Aaron Sorkin’s new play, Harper Lee’s To Kill a Mockingbird, directed by Tony Award winner Bartlett Sher (Oslo, The King and I), comes to Broadway in a production starring Jeff Daniels, Celia Keenan-Bolger, Will Pullen, and Gbenga Akinnagbe. Published in 1960, Harper Lee’s debut novel To Kill a Mockingbird was an immediate and astonishing success. Now, for the first time ever, Harper Lee’s open-hearted dissection of justice and tolerance in the American South will be brought vividly to life on the Broadway stage.

  • NEW YORK TIMES REVIEW OF To Kill a Mockingbird

    Review: A Broadway ‘Mockingbird,’ Elegiac and Effective

    Jesse Green

    December 13, 2018: As this is a trial, let’s have a verdict: “To Kill a Mockingbird,” which opened at the Shubert Theater on Thursday, is not guilty. Evidence shows that it does not deface the Harper Lee novel on which it is based, as the Lee estate at one point contended. And far from devaluing the property as a moneymaking machine, it has created an honorable stream of income that should pour into the estate’s coffers for years to come. But as any reader of the novel knows, to say something is not guilty is not the same as saying it’s innocent. And this adaptation of “To Kill a Mockingbird” — written by Aaron Sorkin, directed by Bartlett Sher and starring Jeff Daniels — is hardly innocent. How could it be? Every ounce of glossy know-how available at the highest echelons of the commercial theater has been applied to ensure its success, both on Lee’s terms and on what it supposes are ours.

  • DEADLINE REVIEW OF To Kill a Mockingbird

    ‘To Kill A Mockingbird’ Broadway Review: Aaron Sorkin, Jeff Daniels Deliver An Atticus For Our Times

    Greg Evans

    December 13, 2018: When Scout, Jem and Dill take the stage in Aaron Sorkin’s To Kill a Mockingbird, they’re not rolling a tire down the sidewalk or peering into the knothole of some old oak tree. The children – played, with no excuses offered or needed, by adults – appear in what seems to be an empty, dilapidated building, maybe an old courthouse fallen into neglect. Justice itself has become a thing of memory, its paint peeling. What really happened that night Bob Ewell died, wonders Scout (Celia Keenan-Bolger), the most inquisitive and persistent of the three? Could a man really fall on his own knife? Something about the grim story of that harvest night doesn’t add up, no matter what Atticus or the local newspaper said, and young Miss Finch (is she still young?) wants her brother, her best friend and the audience at Broadway’s Shubert Theatre to reconsider. Everything. The set-up is a Sorkin masterstroke, perfectly executed by director Bartlett Sher, a dreamy gambit that justifies every liberty this simultaneously revisionist and faithful Mockingbird will take over the next two hours-plus. When, exactly, are the young Finches and their beloved childhood friend reuniting for this exorcism? How long has Scout been pondering that grim evening, when she and her brother were viciously attacked, when their attacker died, when one neighborhood mystery emerged from the shadows and another took its place among the secrets? Weeks? Months?

  • VARIETY REVIEW OF To Kill a Mockingbird

    Broadway Review: ‘To Kill a Mockingbird’

    Marilyn Stasio

    December 13, 2018: Against all odds, writer Aaron Sorkin and director Bartlett Sher have succeeded in crafting a stage-worthy adaptation of Harper Lee’s classic American novel “To Kill a Mockingbird.” The ever-likable Daniels, whose casting was genius, gives a strong and searching performance as Atticus Finch, the small-town Southern lawyer who epitomizes the ideal human qualities of goodness, tolerance and decency. Celia Keenan-Bolger, best remembered for “The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee” but grown up now, is smart, funny, and entirely convincing as Scout, Atticus’s precocious 6-year-old daughter and the narrator of the story. The rest of the large and very fine cast perform their parts with all their hearts, under Sher’s impeccably fine-tuned direction.


    'To Kill a Mockingbird': Theater Review

    David Rooney

    December 13, 2018: "We can't go on like this," urges Jeff Daniels as Atticus Finch toward the end of Aaron Sorkin's fine-grained stage retelling of To Kill a Mockingbird. "We have to heal this wound or we will never stop bleeding." Those plaintive words, spoken about the cancerous racial inequality in 1930s Alabama, land with a visceral gut punch in 2018, all too clearly reflecting the ugly rise of the alt-right across a nation bitterly torn by the political dissemination of fear and hatred. It's to Sorkin's credit that he lets the contemporary parallels emerge naturally, without hitting us over the head, in a transfixing act of theatrical storytelling graced by exceptional ensemble acting. Perhaps the most notable achievement of this thoughtful adaptation, and Bartlett Sher's meticulously calibrated Broadway production, is that it takes Harper Lee's 1960 novel — a modern American classic that pretty much all of us know either from studying it in high school or watching the outstanding 1962 film version — and makes us hang on every word as if experiencing the story for the first time.

  • AM NEW YORK REVIEW OF To Kill a Mockingbird

    'To Kill A Mockingbird' review: Aaron Sorkin delivers with new play

    Matt Windman

    December 13, 2018: Had things turned out differently, one of the best plays in town might have debuted at a downtown courthouse instead of Broadway. Soon after it was announced that a new stage adaptation of Harper Lee’s seminal 1960 Southern Gothic novel “To Kill a Mockingbird,” penned by Aaron Sorkin (“The West Wing,” “The Newsroom”), was heading straight to Broadway, Lee’s estate sued the production, arguing that Sorkin’s adaptation was not true to the spirit of the book and its characters. After some additional legal drama (including a transfer of venue from Alabama to New York and an offer to present the play live in court), the parties settled, and the high profile production (which has direction by Bartlett Sher and stars Jeff Daniels as attorney Atticus Finch) has come to Broadway, where it is already proving to be a box office hit.



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