Aaron Sorkin’s Stage Adaptation”to kill a mockingbird”, which was the rare play to have a long and lucrative Broadway run before the pandemic, will resume performances on October 5.
It will reopen with a pair of familiar faces on stage: Jeff Daniels, who starred as righteous lawyer Atticus Finch during the show’s first year, will return to lead the cast, and Celia Keenan-Bolger, who won a Tony Award for his portrayal. Finch’s daughter, Scout, will return in that role, in the original cast. They plan to remain in the cast until January 2.
Off the stage, there is more change.
It is the first of Scott Rudin’s show to announce plans to go ahead without its lead producer. In April, Rudin said he would move back from production after encountering the inspection of his Naughty behavior.
Production will now be monitored by orrin wolf, who was the principal producer of the Tony-winning musical “band tour”, and who is the president of a touring company, Network, that was put in place by Rudin to oversee the “Mockingbird” tour before the pandemic. Wolf will be titled Executive Producer, and he will be responsible for running the show, reporting to a lead producer, Barry Diller, who will be the producer’s managing member with ultimate responsibility for its financing.
“The show was put together in a strong and beautiful way, and I don’t think my job is to come in and fix anything, but to respect what is there,” Wolf said in an interview. “I’m not coming to make artistic decisions.”
Wolf said that Rudin would not have a role in the production, adding that he had not had any recent communication with Rudin. Wolf’s agreement was negotiated with Diller, he said, and one of the conditions of his employment was that Rudin would have no voice in the production.
“The Broadway Company will no longer provide any compensation to Scott as a producer, and he will no longer have any kind of managerial or decision-making role,” Wolf said. “They have a short investment position, which is dormant.”
“To Kill a Mockingbird”, adapted from the 1960 Harper Lee novel, Opened on Broadway in December 2018. It is played continuously throughout the houses; According to the Broadway League, during the play’s pre-pandemic, it had an audience of 810,000 and grossed $120 million. The show recovered its $7.5 million capitalization—the amount of money it took to make it to Broadway—19 weeks after opening.
Wolf, who has collaborated several times with the “Mockingbird” director, Bartlett Sher, said he agreed to manage production to try to protect both the show and its 182 employees. “We’re going into uncharted territory,” he said, “but my job is to make sure we’re creating an environment for artists to do their work, to make sure we’re getting production back. Which people like, and once we’ve done that, my job is to try to figure out what this post-pandemic audience is.”
Wolf will also continue to oversee the national tour of “Mockingbird,” which is scheduled to begin performing in Buffalo, NY next March and starring Richard Thomas in Boston next April. British producer Sonia Friedman will oversee a London production starring Rafe Spall, which is set to begin production in March.