When Harper Lee wrote the American classic novel "To Kill A Mockingbird" in 1960 at the height of the civil rights movement one wonders if she thought the story would stand the test of time. Would it be like a time capsule, revealing a time and place in our nation's history after progress and change, or would it hold relevance as we still pined for justice and equality for all?
The all time bestselling book has been required reading for school children for decades, Gregory Peck starred in the film version and won an Oscar for his performance, but this play adapted by Aaron Sorkin is so powerful I was brought to tears. I saw it with my twelve year old son who is the perfect age to digest it's content, and the cast was phenomenal, I tell you there were some stand out performances!
This play stars Richard Thomas, stage and television star of Ozark and the iconic TV series The Walton's. He plays lawyer Atticus Finch like nobody's business. Atticus Finch is a beloved character because he always sees the good in people, even the most despised, and when he's asked to represent a black defendant in a rape and battery case in Alabama in the 1930's he jumps at the chance to bring justice to an innocent man who is falsely accused, and prematurely condemned by society. The defendant Tom Robinson is played by Yaegel T. Welch. Welch captivates the audience with his innocent demeanor and sincerity. An earnest man and father, now facing execution in the electric chair for a heinous crime he didn't commit.
The chemistry between Atticus Finch and his maid Calpurnia played by Jacqueline Williams reveals the complexities of race. It gives insight into the reality where blacks worked as maids and butlers in white homes, but lived parallel lives.
This novel is the bestselling story of all time. Equally, the play is the bestselling play in American history! It exposes the scar tissue of America's original sin, but it also sheds light on the hopeful good people that encompass the tapestry of this country especially those in the rural southern communities. The people who live and work together, see beyond race, and lives are intertwined. Yes this story has stood the test of time! It is poignant, possible, educational, and it hopefully makes us better listeners attuned to both sides. Someone once told me, "If you feel it, you can heal it!" I truly believe that, and there is nothing better than live theater to communicate this powerful message.
We highly recommend taking your family to see this production of To Kill A Mockingbird at The Civic Theatre Downtown San Diego. It's playing daily now thru December 4th, 2022 with two performances on the weekend. The show is recommended for audience members 13+.
SAN DIEGO CIVIC THEATRE
1100 Third Avenue @ B Street
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