To Kill a Mockingbird on Broadway

August 29, 2019 New York, NY, USA

Who: My friend Amy and I
What: To Kill a Mockingbird, the Broadway play based on the classic novel
When: August 2019
Where: Shubert Theatre, New York
Why: We won tickets—thanks Broadway Across America!

To Kill a Mockingbird Broadway

Thoughts: Like most people, I'm guessing, I read To Kill a Mockingbird in middle school and haven't since. I remember that I liked it and I remember basic plot points, but I don't remember the entire story and I didn't re-read this book before watching the play.

That being said, I could tell that this wasn't a purist adaptation of the book and I can tell you I absolutely love how they presented the play! I will always pick a musical over the play, but of the 3 shows we won tickets to, Mockingbird was by far my favorite. It captured the spirit of the story while making connections to society today without being preachy and still managed to make us laugh. 

Something unique about this show is that the child characters are played by adult actors. I thought this would be weird, but it actually worked very well as the children mostly serve as narrators sharing their memories with us. Their body language and costumes are that of children while their dialog is more mature. In fact, Celia Keenan-Bolger, who plays Scout, won a Tony this year for her role!

This was such a creative presentation/interpretation of a classic novel. I shouldn't be surprised since Bartlett Sher (who was behind two of my favorite Rodgers & Hammerstein musical revivals) worked on this. If I were to come back to New York with a friend, I wouldn't hesitate to bring them along to see this!

Something to consider if you're a purist: another person in our group mentioned she re-read the book right before coming to see the play and regretted that choice. The creative choices in this play worked for me but may not for some. Or maybe, just wait until after to read the book and compare notes. Either way, I wouldn't hesitate to recommend this play!

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