Review Roundup: A TIME TO KILL Opens on Broadway - All the Reviews!
A TIME TO KILL opens tonight, Oct. 20, on Broadway at the John Golden Theatre. The production, based upon John Grisham's best-selling novel, stars Sebastian Arcelus, Chike Johnson, Patrick Page, Tony Award winner Tonya Pinkins, Emmy Award winner Tom Skerritt, Fred Dalton Thompson, John Douglas Thompson, and Ashley Williams, plus Jeffrey M. Bender, Dashiell Eaves, J.R. Horne, John Procaccino, Tijuana Ricks, and Lee Sellars.
Adapted by Tony Award-winning playwright Rupert Holmes, Ethan McSweeny directs A Time To Kill, which features features scenic design by James Noone, costume design by David C. Woolard, lighting design by Jeff Croiter, original music and sound design by Lindsay Jones, and projection design by Jeff Sugg.
Let's see what the critics had to say...
Michael Dale, BroadwayWorld: despite the play's flaws, director Ethan McSweeny turns in a tense and energetic production, featuring a tight ensemble that glosses over the rough patches. James Noone's versatile set, utilizing a tall wood-planked wall and a turntable floor, smoothly glides to multiple locations. Jeff Croiter's lights, Jeff Sugg's projections and Lindsay Jones' sound establish the outside world with visual and audible evidence of Klan rallies, protests and a child's-eye view of the event that sets the story in motion. (The projected epilogue may either warm your heart or make you roll your eyes with its sentimentality.)
Marilyn Stasio, Variety: "Rupert Holmes' stage adaptation of John Grisham's first novel, "A Time to Kill," comes at a sweet moment for the author, whose belated sequel to that 1989 book, "Sycamore Row," is being published this month. But a 25-year time lapse that works on the page doesn't necessarily play on the stage, and there's a distinctly dated feeling to the material - not the topic of Southern racism, but the youthful idealism of its hero. And despite a sturdy ensemble production helmed by Ethan McSweeny, this courtroom drama feels as if it were made for an earlier, less cynical era."
Elysa Gardner, USA Today: "Holmes' Kill is more sharply focused than the 1996 film adaptation of the novel, and does a better job of incorporating folksy humor into the disturbing and at times pedantic story...we watch the defendant, Carl Lee Hailey, as a jury would; and since he is played by the magnificent John Douglas Thomson - who delivers the most fully realized performance here - we are moved by his anguish, rage, obstinance and fundamental dignity...Carl Lee is represented by Kill's hero, Jake Brigance, an idealistic young lawyer played on screen by Matthew McConaughey, who imbued him with a slick nobility. In the play, he seems both greener and more ambitious, traits that Sebastian Arcelus' nimble performance emphasizes, without making Jake less appealing or admirable."