To Kill a Mockingbird (Review)

To Kill a Mockingbird (Review)
To Kill a Mockingbird (Review)
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THE PLAY: In 1936, a black man is accused of raping a white woman in a small Alabama town. A conscientious attorney takes the case, which causes conflict among the adults and holds lessons for his children. The stage adaptation skims the highlights of the book without much time for depth.

 

THE PRODUCTION: Most of the first act is dominated by three kids, so it depends on strong, naturalistic performances and, more important, being able to hear them. More than one person (including myself) had difficulty hearing much of the dialogue. The youth are energetic and the adult cast is solid. Director Rusty Wilson has beautifully staged the production. The black “chorus” provides gospel bookends and the set featuring four porches is impressive and attractively lit. Even with all this, the show feels flat. There’s a lack of emotional power that’s needed to mine this drama’s potential. Or maybe it’s just that the play itself is more like a Cliff’s note version of the book.

 

THE POINT: Beautifully staged but lacking emotional power.

 

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