Aaron Sorkin’s adaptation of ‘To Kill A Mockingbird,’ the classic novel by Harper Lee, has broken records, becoming the highest single-week grossing play in Broadway history.
The play is only in its second full week of performances and has already grossed $1.702 million, Variety reports. It has surpassed “All The Way,” the drama about Lyndon Johnson, which garnered $1.623 million back in 2014, previously holding the top-grossing weekly record. This falls just behind Broadway’s current highest-grossing play, “Harry Potter and the Cursed Child,” clocking in at over $2 million a week.
Since “To Kill A Mockingbird” debuted on November 1, capacity has been at 100 percent. While most non-musicals have a set end date, the show has an open-ended run, due to the high demand.
“I’ve never had, or seen, a new play perform like this one is,” Scott Rudin, the producer behind the play said. “We’ve had plenty of shows break plenty of records, but nothing we’ve ever had has been like this. The company of ‘To Kill a Mockingbird’ has been together for quite a long time already, through numerous labs, readings, and a very healthy preview period. The success of this play — and the huge affection shown for it thus far — belongs entirely to them. It’s their hit.”
Sorkin faced a lawsuit earlier this year after Lee’s estate filed a complaint, arguing that his adaptation strays too far from the original work and its themes. While Sorkin stuck by his own adaptation, the estate and director settled the suit by making some tweaks.
“I can’t and won’t present a play that feels like it was written in the year the book was written in terms of its racial politics: It wouldn’t be of interest,” Rudin said. “The world has changed since then.”
The controversial story, set in Alabama in 1934, has been a talked-about novel for years. It delves into the story of a white lawyer, Atticus Finch, and his experience defending a black man who has been accused of rape by a white girl. Set in a small town in Alabama, the book delves into the racial injustice throughout the segregated South.
Celia Keenan-Bloger, Will Pullen, Gideon Glick, LaTanya Richardson Jackson, and Danny Wolohan star in the show, along with Jeff Daniels, who plays the lead role of Finch. Daniels has agreed to perform in the show for a full-year run.