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TO KILL A MOCKINGBIRD Reviews

JBC3
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TO KILL A MOCKINGBIRD Reviews#26
Posted: 12/14/18 at 1:15pm
Miles2Go2 said: "Of course. It’s just interesting."



Did not imply otherwise.

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Susanswerphone
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joined:4/26/14
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TO KILL A MOCKINGBIRD Reviews#27
Posted: 12/14/18 at 1:45pm

JBC3 said: "Polarization seemed somewhat likely given the source material and the adapter."

How sad is that. Opinions of the adapter and author aside, I found it to be a thoroughly enjoyable, at times captivating, production. 

There are some truly gifted people giving all to bring a dusty old book to life, and show us how we really haven't changed all that much as a society. A lesson less than palatable, but necessary.

It's a beautifully staged, wonderful adaptation with a uniformly great cast. I can't wait to go back!

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raddersons
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sppunk
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TO KILL A MOCKINGBIRD Reviews#29
Posted: 12/15/18 at 9:52pm
Saw this today and honest to God don’t get the negative reviews. We saw Network two weeks ago and TKAM puts it to shame aside from Cranston’s performance.

Go see this. I echo the NYT review.
rg7759
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TO KILL A MOCKINGBIRD Reviews#30
Posted: 12/22/18 at 7:18pm

just wondering what other lincoln center productions have occurred outside of lincoln center.

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BenElliott
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TO KILL A MOCKINGBIRD Reviews#31
Posted: 1/4/19 at 4:14pm
Saw this production tonight and thought it was truly something special. With all the controversy surrounding it, I was expecting this to be a radically rewritten piece that wouldn't resemble Harper Lee's book. This really isn't the case. I haven't read the book since I was 12, but this seems to be a fairly straightforward adaption except for the storytelling effect (the trial starting the show). I can't see what's so controversial. You really can't expect a word for word adaption of anything. What worked in one medium will not work in another.

Anyways, Sorkin has a distinctive voice that's present here, but not distracting. The characters have been fleshed out beautifully here and Sher does a brilliant job at keeping the show constantly interesting. The cast is all pretty great aside for a couple of performances that others seemed to love, but I found a little bit over the top. Jeff Daniels is fantastic and his Atticus is perfect. I think he's been given a wonderful journey to go on that feels very truthful to what Lee wrote. Daniels is a bit more human than the saintly portrayal that we've seen in the past. Celia Keenan-Bolger is a perfect equal to him. She really carries this play. Her casting here is not distracting at all. She disappears in the part and I never thought about the fact that I was watching a 40 year old woman. Gideon Glick is phenomenal here. He was the standout for me. His part has been expanded from what I can recall from the book and his performance is equal parts hysterical and heartbreaking. I'm hoping all three of these performers gain nominations for there work here. If Celia is put in supporting (which she should be), I think all three of them could be major contenders in their respective categories. I'd like to give a shoutout to Dakin Matthews who is absolutely great here as is Gbenga Akinnagbe. Erin Wilhelmi is also a standout here. She's able to play high emotions here without coming off as untruthful, which, like I said, isn't true of all the performers here. Frederick Weller is totally playing an idea here as Bob Ewell. He's shouty, and not particularly human. He plays it like a cartoon character, which stands out like a sore thumb next to Erin's more naturalistic approach. Also when Stark Sands was delivering his courtroom speech, I almost expected him to burst into a full blown power ballad with all his strange musical theatre acting gestures (extended arms, doubling over, quick dramatic stage crossing). Also, I had issues with LaTanya Richardson Jackson's performance. Her role has been beautifully expanded to bring an important PoV to the play. However, her performance feels pushed and somewhat stereotypical. I was disappointed that she decided to go with that portrayal, but that might be an issue with how she was directed. Overall though, it's a beautifully acted production.

The design is a lovely middle ground between minimalist and lush. Mirium Buether never lets me down with her stunning designs. Adan Guettel's score is minimal, but effective and the Shubert is a perfect house for this. This is a must-see, in my opinion.
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Sho-Tunes-R-Us
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joined:12/6/09
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TO KILL A MOCKINGBIRD Reviews#32
Posted: 1/4/19 at 7:45pm

BenElliott said: "Saw this production tonight and thought it was truly something special. With all the controversy surrounding it, I was expecting this to be a radically rewritten piece that wouldn't resemble Harper Lee's book. This really isn't the case. I haven't read the book since I was 12, but this seems to be a fairly straightforward adaption except for the storytelling effect (the trial starting the show). I can't see what's so controversial. You really can't expect a word for word adaption of anything. What worked in one medium will not work in another.

Anyways, Sorkin has a distinctive voice that's present here, but not distracting. The characters have been fleshed out beautifully here and Sher does a brilliant job at keeping the show constantly interesting. The cast is all pretty great aside for a couple of performances that others seemed to love, but I found a little bit over the top. Jeff Daniels is fantastic and his Atticus is perfect. I think he's been given a wonderful journey to go on that feels very truthful to what Lee wrote. Daniels is a bit more human than the saintly portrayal that we've seen in the past. Celia Keenan-Bolger is a perfect equal to him. She really carries this play. Her casting here is not distracting at all. She disappears in the part and I never thought about the fact that I was watching a 40 year old woman. Gideon Glick is phenomenal here. He was the standout for me. His part has been expanded from what I can recall from the book and his performance is equal parts hysterical and heartbreaking. I'm hoping all three of these performers gain nominations for there work here. If Celia is put in supporting (which she should be), I think all three of them could be major contenders in their respective categories. I'd like to give a shoutout to Dakin Matthews who is absolutely great here as is Gbenga Akinnagbe. Erin Wilhelmi is also a standout here. She's able to play high emotions here without coming off as untruthful, which, like I said, isn't true of all the performers here. Frederick Weller is totally playing an idea here as Bob Ewell. He's shouty, and not particularly human. He plays it like a cartoon character, which stands out like a sore thumb next to Erin's more naturalistic approach. Also when Stark Sands was delivering his courtroom speech, I almost expected him to burst into a full blown power ballad with all his strange musical theatre acting gestures (extended arms, doubling over, quick dramatic stage crossing). Also, I had issues with LaTanya Richardson Jackson's performance. Her role has been beautifully expanded to bring an important PoV to the play. However, her performance feels pushed and somewhat stereotypical. I was disappointed that she decided to go with that portrayal, but that might be an issue with how she was directed. Overall though, it's a beautifully acted production.

The design is a lovely middle ground between minimalist and lush. Mirium Buether never lets me down with her stunning designs. Adan Guettel's score is minimal, but effective and the Shubert is a perfect house for this. This is a must-see, in my opinion.
"

Agree with you almost whole-heartedly, but had no issues with any of the performances.  Dakin Mathews goes waaaay back for me to San Francisco's American Conservatory Theatre's earlier years and I was particularly happy to see him on stage again.

One note about the Shubert seating though.  Believe I mentioned this in an earlier post, but I found my seat in the rear front center mezzanine to be less than ideal for seeing the entire stage picture (cut off by the balcony) and will be returning in July to see the production a second time from center balcony, row A.  As a less expensive seat I believe it will be ideal.

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BenElliott
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TO KILL A MOCKINGBIRD Reviews#33
Posted: 1/5/19 at 11:08am
The standing room put me under the overhang so you get a view a lot like the rear mezzanine, but for the price and the closeness, I really didn't mind. The Shubert, while one of my favorite theatres, really does have that weird "shoebox" view from the rear orchestra and mezzanine. For those of you buying full price, I'd avoid those spots.

Also, I almost forgot to mention. The adults playing kids worked 85% of the time. Anytime they were with Jeff Daniels, they were believable. With the rest of the cast it didn't work quite so well. The actors playing the kids are phenomenal, but there were a couple of occasions that it just didn't work for me. I see no artistic reason for the roles to be played by adults, but I do see a technical reason for it. The dialogue is challenging, but I've seen kids on stage navigate difficult dialogue to great success. I think the real issue here is the fact that the play is three hours long and those three roles almost never leave the stage. I bet that the casting of adults was because of child labor laws. I don't know all the technicalities, but I doubt equity would allow for kids to be on stage for three hours straight while rattling off Sorkin dialogue. So if you're wondering about that casting choice, that's probably why.

Anyways, it's a great play and a must-see. See it anyway that you can.
RussT2
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TO KILL A MOCKINGBIRD Reviews#34
Posted: 1/13/19 at 10:15am

Took my bf to see TKAMB last night. We sat in R 102 and 101 in orchestra. Great seats!Show was excellent. We really loved it. Not understanding some of the negative comments about the show. Great performances all around, great sets and music. *By the way, this MAY be a spoiler alert so if you don't want to know...........................................

 

...many performers (during both acts) enter scenes by walking down the aisle and stepping on to the stage.

If you are in the balcony you will miss this completely. Our seats in the rear of orchestra were perfect to seeing all of this. To actually see Bob Ewell and his hood covered gang walk by us in our seats with their guns and clubs, or to have Scout run by us toward the stage made me feel like I was part of the story unfolding before my eyes.

 

Updated On: 1/13/19 at 10:15 AM
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bwayphreak234
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TO KILL A MOCKINGBIRD Reviews#35
Posted: 2/15/19 at 7:52am

I’m going to be in the vast minority on this one, but here it goes... I found this to be underwhelming in nearly every aspect. Bartlett Sher is my favorite director, and I have unequivocally loved every single production of his that I have seen. Mockingbird is the first production of his that left me cold.

The direction for this is just, in a word, messy. The blocking is oftentimes problematic, and there are some major sightline issues with the courtroom scenes if you are seated house left. While I understand the reasons behind certain major decisions, I can’t say I found some of them to be entirely effective. The way the jury was represented and the children aimlessly wandering about the courtroom are a couple examples.

Having the children played by adults was a misstep for me. The three actors were great, but I definitely feel like the innocence and naïveté of childhood was lost by not having actual children in the roles. 

The set left me puzzled. It was as if all the action was taking place inside an old abandoned warehouse, but then the individual locations such as the courtroom and house were very realistic. I’m not really sure what they were going for, but the physical design felt like it had two completely different concepts that were at odds with each other.

I was really excited to see this, but I was ultimately pretty let down. It’s not bad by any means, but it definitely did not live up to the hype for me, personally. 

"There’s nothing quite like the power and the passion of Broadway music. "
wolfwriter
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TO KILL A MOCKINGBIRD Reviews#36
Posted: 2/15/19 at 5:25pm

bwayphreak234 said: "I’m going to be in the vast minority on this one, but here it goes... I found this to be underwhelming in nearly every aspect. 

The direction for this is just, in a word, messy. The blocking is oftentimes problematic, and there are some major sightline issues with the courtroom scenes if you are seated house left.


I finally saw this a week or two ago and was so underwhelmed that I forgot to share my thoughts.

When folks have asked what I thought, I've just said "I wasn't bored, but it's not a must-see." 

From 12 empty juror chairs, to perpetual lazy narration, this is Aaron Sorkin's Mockingbird not Harper Lee's. I get it. It's an "adaptation," whatever that means. But, when you describe the final scene to me instead of acting it out, I'm going to leave the theater with a big shrug.

It's the same lazy writing that The Ferryman employs and it doesn't seem to bother people, although a "told" play is not a lot different than someone reading a book to you. That's not what theater is for and that's not the craft of playwrighting. That said, if people enjoy plays that are told rather than acted out, that's totally fine. It just won't ever be my cup of tea.

This is Celia Keenan-Bolger's play and she's good, despite the limitations of Sorkin's typically self-absorbed, self-focused "look-at-me" writing. In fact most of the acting is good (the less said about Gideon Glick, the better), although none of the acting by an obviously talented cast, ever rises to greatness, held back, I think, by the writing and Bart Sher's direction.

A side note. I bought my ticket in December with my choice of seats in Mezz or Balcony, as Orchestra was almost entirely sold out. I opted for front row Balcony A28 on the right, facing the stage. According to the seating chart, it should have been a fine full view. Not even close.

The first row of the balcony curves at the ends and I ended up behind a lighting fixture and the front rail and fully 1/3 or more of the stage was obstructed. I never once saw the judge when he was seated at his bench, among many other things.

It was disappointing and I emailed Telecharge to let them know that I had paid full price for a partial view seat that was not marked partial view. They were great and forwarded my explanation to the producers who have graciously offered a full refund (which I didn't ask for).

I just wanted to give them a heads-up that the seat is not a full-view seat, by any means and they should let folks know before they purchase.

In all, this was far better than the Papermill Mockingbird some 25 years ago which I recall hating. It's just a typical Aaron Sorkin disappointment. So much potential unrealized.

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dramamama611
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TO KILL A MOCKINGBIRD Reviews#37
Posted: 4/8/19 at 8:56pm
I loved this to pieces. Mockingbird is one of my favorite films and my favorite novel. I'd set the bar pretty high/hopeful, and wasnt disappointed.

Loved Daniels' understated and controlled Atticus. I loved the use of adults as the children which was not only necessary but effective.

I loved the film feeling the stage transitions gave the audience. I was with a large group that also fell in love with it. Out of the shows we saw, this was the obvious favorite.



If we're not having fun, then why are we doing it? These are DISCUSSION boards, not mutual admiration boards. Discussion only occurs when we are willing to hear what others are thinking, regardless of whether it is alignment to our own thoughts.
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Miles2Go2
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TO KILL A MOCKINGBIRD Reviews#38
Posted: 9/29/19 at 12:00pm

Saw To Kill A Mockingbird at the Saturday matinee and then Moulin Rouge! last night.

Still crawling out from under the stupor of my hangover of my Broadway overdose from yesterday so I’ll try to keep this short and sweet.

To Kill A Mockingbird - great production! Lots of humor to help with darker moments. That was an unexpected and welcome surprise. We had full cast. No standbys/understudies. Great performances across the board but my favorites were Celia Keenan-Bolger and Gideon Glick. Loved the set as well. Couple times the incidental music made it difficult to hear some dialogue. We sat Mezzanine Row E - seats 2 & 4. Great view, horrible legroom, grateful for my aisle seat. While I have a few minor quibbles with the production, I overall loved it. Loved the set as well. No one came out to stagedoor. That’s kind of expected for Saturday matinees I would imagine. Although they set up the barricades then eventually told us no one was coming out. I bought the program, mug, and magnet. I tried on the Trayvon hoodie but it didn’t look good on me so did not purchase Also, if you go and want a cocktail, go to lowest level lobby and get in Kristin’s line and ask for the Kristin Special (named by me). I think it included Pineapple rum and OJ. Yummy!

Updated On: 10/9/19 at 12:00 PM
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Miles2Go2
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TO KILL A MOCKINGBIRD Reviews#39
Posted: 10/9/19 at 10:41pm
Hey all. Ever since I saw this two Saturdays ago I’ve been meaning to ask something. I know as early as previews that it was mentioned that Sorkin had taken some dialogue (monologue) from The West Wing and placed it in the play. I’m curious as to where and when that occurs. I kept listening for things that sounded like they could’ve been taken from the West Wing but I never was able to place it. Thanks!

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