Metro Weekly

Editor’s Pick: ‘To Kill A Mockingbird’ at The Kennedy Center

The national touring production of 'To Kill a Mockingbird' is now at The Kennedy Center, starring Richard Thomas.

To Kill a Mockingbird -- Photo Credit: Julieta Cervantes
‘To Kill a Mockingbird’ featuring Richard Thomas (center) — Photo: Julieta Cervantes

It holds the record as the highest-grossing non-musical play in Broadway history — and in this case, that history is remarkably fresh. Of course, To Kill a Mockingbird is still best known in its original form, as Harper Lee’s Pulitzer Prize-winning novel dating to 1960.

Surprisingly, the work, a tale of racial injustice and childhood innocence, has only been adapted for the screen once, and that 1962 film continues to rank as one of the greatest movies of all time.

It had only been adapted once for the stage — with the annual, only-in-Alabama production developed by Christopher Sergel — before Aaron Sorkin decided to put his stamp on the piece a few years ago.

That stamp included tinkering with the story to position Atticus Finch as the protagonist instead of the famous lawyer’s young daughter Scout.

With Jeff Daniels originating the role of Finch, the production, directed by Tony-winner Bartlett Sher with an original score by Adam Guettel, managed to overcome initial resistance as well as a major lawsuit from the Lee estate in reaction to the changes, going on to enjoy a successful run on Broadway starting in November of 2018 until the pandemic shutdown in March of 2020.

It then picked back up in October of 2021 until mid-January of this year, with a third Broadway extension planned to commence later this summer with Greg Kinnear in the role of Finch.

The national touring production of To Kill a Mockingbird is now open for a three-week run at the Kennedy Center, headlined by the great Richard Thomas, who stars as Finch opposite Melanie Moore as Scout.

The production also features Jacqueline Williams as the Finch’s housekeeper and caretaker Calpurnia, and Mary Badham, who garnered an Oscar nomination as Scout in the original film, as Mrs. Dubose.

Yaegel T. Welch as defendant Tom Robinson and Steven Lee Johnson as Dill Harris, plus Luke Smith, Liv Rooth, and Glenn Fleary all also join the touring production fresh from the revived Broadway run.

Runs through July 10 in the Opera House.

Tickets are $49 to $199.

Call 202-467-4600 or visit www.kennedy-center.org.

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