By Shana Singh
Boston University News Service
“To Kill a Mockingbird,” Aaron Sorkin’s new stage adaptation of Harper Lee’s classic novel, is set to premiere in Boston at the Citizens Bank Opera House this April.
Directed by Tony Award winner Bartlett Sher, the touring production stars Richard Thomas as beloved lawyer and father Atticus Finch. Thomas is best known for his role as John-Boy Walton on the CBS television series The Waltons, which had nine seasons between 1972 and 1981.
“Atticus is an optimist who believes in the court system and that truth will prevail. And then he walks into the buzz saw of this trial and the right hook of the jury’s racism…” said Jeff Daniels, the Broadway production’s original Atticus, in a quote posted on Twitter. “The audience gets to watch this guy struggle to find what to say — and he finds it, and it’s pretty beautiful.”
Other notable cast members include Mary Badham, who played Scout Finch in the original 1962 film and earned an oscar-nomination for her role as a child actor. Badham joins the touring production as Mrs. Dubose, Scout’s morphine-addicted neighbor, according to the cast list.
The touring cast also includes an ensemble member who hails from the Bay State itself.
Morgan Bernhard, who plays a townsperson and bailiff in addition to understudying the roles of Jem and Dill, grew up in Massachusetts and lived in Boston for a few years after graduating college, according to a biography on Bernhard’s website. He performed with multiple fringe theater companies during that time, before leaving the area to pursue his MFA in England.
“Coming back to Boston as a member of ‘Mockingbird’ will be really special,” wrote Bernhard in an email. “As a kid I got to see a lot of touring shows in the big Boston houses, including the Opera House. So getting to perform on that stage in front of friends and family will be like making a full circle.”
Debuting on Broadway in 2018, the sold-out show was an instant hit, grossing $1.5 million in its first week and breaking other box office records, according to BroadwayWorld.
In fact, since Sorkin’s new adaptation of “To Kill a Mockingbird” opened over three years ago, it has become the most successful American play in Broadway history, according to People.
“Brimming with humor, generous heart and gritty provocation, ‘To Kill a Mockingbird’ is as timely as it is timeless,” wrote film critic Peter Travers in a Rolling Stone review. “Sorkin sets a new gold standard for adapting one generation’s cry from the heart to another’s. The result is unmissable and unforgettable.”
The national tour kicked off in Buffalo, NY on March 27 before coming to Boston. The tour will conclude its run in June 2023 in Columbus, OH. The full list of tour stops can be found here.
“Mockingbird” will run in Boston from April 5-17. Standard ticket prices start at around $45.00 at www.BroadwayInBoston.com and at the box office. A select amount of $30 rush tickets may be available two hours before curtain for students, seniors, military, and veterans with a valid ID.