Running since November 2018 Jeff Daniels stars in Oscar-winner Aaron Sorkin's stage adaptation of Harper Lee's Pulitzer Prize-winning semi-autobiographical novel about racial injustice in a small Alabama town in the mid 1930s.
From the producers: Inspired by Lee’s own childhood in Alabama, "To Kill a Mockingbird" features one of literature’s towering symbols of integrity and righteousness in the character of Atticus Finch, based on Lee’s own father. The character of Scout, based on herself, has come to define youthful innocence – and its inevitable loss – for generation after generation of readers around the world.
Published in 1960, Harper Lee’s debut novel "To Kill a Mockingbird" was an immediate and astonishing success. It won the Pulitzer Prize and quickly became a global phenomenon, with more than 50 million copies in print to date. Considered one of the great classics of modern American literature, the novel has never been out of print since its original publication. Aaron Sorkin is the Emmy Award-winning writer and creator of the hit TV series "The West Wing," and the Academy Award-winning 1992 film "A Few Good Men," which he adapted from his 1989 Broadway play. He is the writer-creator of "The Newsroom," and authored the screenplays for "The Social Network' and "The American President." Here's an excerpt from a "60 Minutes" interview with Sorkin about adapting the story for a modern audience:
Jeff Daniels, who takes on the role of Atticus Finch, returns to Broadway after a Tony-nominated turn in 2016’s "Blackbird." Joining him are fellow Tony nominee Celia Keenan-Bolger ("The Glass Menagerie," "Peter and the Starcatcher"), Will Pullen, Gideon Glick, Frederick Weller, Gbenga Akinnagbe, Stark Sands, Dakin Matthews, Erin Wilhelmi, Neal Huff, Phyllis Somerville, Liv Rooth, Danny Wolohan and LaTanya Richardson Jackson. Tony Award winner Bartlett Sher ("Golden Boy," "The King and I," "South Pacific") directs.
Sorkin's cagey adaptation...The play's ambivalent approach to Atticus is satisfying but also sometimes glib. And despite Sorkin's best efforts, every righteous decision engenders new potential critiques. Yet the effort is commendable, and the execution is exemplary. The elegant production is stately but not stodgy. Daniels is a first-rate Atticus. If Sorkin's adaptation lacks the subtlety and plain-spokenness of Lee's novel, it has moments of old-fashioned power - the playwright knows how to set up a court scene - and others of surprising tenderness.
AM New York
Although the plot remains relatively intact, Sorkin has adapted the book with an eye toward dramatic structure, character development and contemporary cultural relevance. Perhaps more crucially, Sorkin has opened up the book's most prominent black characters allowing them to more fully express themselves, and Sorkin presents Atticus as a central protagonist and a more complicated figure, whose views are challenged and changed. Some of Sorkin's choices are questionable. In any event, "Mockingbird" proves to be an engrossing, provocative and uniformly well-acted adaptation.