Jeff Daniels and Celia Keenan-Bolger will return to the cast of Aaron Sorkin’s adaptation of To Kill a Mockingbird when it heads back to Broadway in October. The performers, who helped the adaptation to a popular and lucrative run, will be back in the spotlight when the curtain opens on the production on October 5, and plan to remain with the cast until January 2.
Equally notable as what the production brings back is what it loses – namely the participation of disgraced producer Scott Rudin, who saw a rapid fall from grace over the past year after numerous allegations of bullying behavior in both Broadway and Hollywood productions he was involved with. Instead, the production will be under the leadership of Orin Wolf, who had been involved with the planing of a tour of the play in coming months.
“The show was positioned in a strong and beautiful way, and I don’t think my job is to come in and fix anything, but to honor what’s there,” Wolf told the New York Times. “I’m not coming in to make artistic decisions.”
In its initial run, Mockingbird played to sellout crowds, recouping its initial investment in just 19 weeks. According to the Times, the play was performed in front of more than 800,000 people and grossed $120 million. On the way, it became the highest grossing American play in Broadway history.
The show was nominated for nine Tony Awards, with Keenan-Bolger earning the win for best performance by an actress in a featured role in a play. It fell short in the other eight categories it was nominated, including Daniels’ lead performance and the best play race.
Based on the seminal novel by Harper Lee, Mockingbird tells the tale of racism and injustice in the American south. Daniels portrayed lawyer Atticus Finch, who defends a black man wrongly accused of sexual assault. Sorkin’s adaptation made its debut on December 13, 2018.