John Golden Theatre, (10/20/2013 - 11/17/2013)

First Preview: Sep 28, 2013
Opening Date: Oct 20, 2013
Closing Date: Nov 17, 2013
Total Previews: 23
Total Performances: 33

Category: Play, Drama, Thriller, Original, Broadway
Setting: The early 1980s. In and around the Clanton courthouse in Ford County, Mississippi.

Opening Night Production Staff

Theatre Owned / Operated by The Shubert Organization (Philip J. Smith: Chairman; Robert E. Wankel: President)

Produced by Daryl Roth, Eva Price, Jonathan Mann, Martian Entertainment, Peter May, Square 1 Theatrics, Judith Ann Abrams/Jayne Sherman, David Bryant/Rock Candy Productions, Bryan K.L. Byrd III/The Storyline Project, Mary Beth Dale/Avram Freedberg, Elliot Masie/Sara Beth Zivitz and Philip Meissner/Slosberg Productions

Originally presented by Arena Stage (Molly Smith, Artistic Director; Edgar Dobie, Executive Director)

Adapted for the stage by Rupert Holmes; Based on the novel by John Grisham; Original Music: Lindsay Jones

Directed by Ethan McSweeny; Assistant Director: Anthony Luciano

Scenic Design by James Noone; Costume Design by David C. Woolard; Lighting Design by Jeff Croiter; Sound Design by Lindsay Jones; Projection Design by Jeff Sugg; Hair and Wig Design by Paul Huntley; Make-Up Design by Ashley Ryan; Associate Costume Design: David Burke; Associate Lighting Design: Cory Pattak; Associate Sound Design: Will Pickens; Associate Projection Design: Daniel Vatsky; Assistant Scenic Design: Vicki Davis; Assistant Lighting Design: Jamie Roderick

General Manager: 101 Productions, Ltd.; Company Manager: Jennifer Hindman Kemp

Technical Supervisor: Peter Fulbright; Production Stage Manager: James Latus; Stage Manager: David Sugarman

Fight direction by David S. Leong; Dialect Coach: Stephen Gabis; Fight Captain: Dashiell Eaves; Casting: Tara Rubin Casting; Press Representative: O&M Co.; Advertising: Serino Coyne; Marketing: Serino Coyne; Digital Outreach & Website: Serino Coyne; Photographer: Carol Rosegg

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Opening Night Cast

Sebastian ArcelusJake Brigance
attorney
John Douglas ThompsonCarl Lee Hailey
Ashley WilliamsEllen Roark
Chiké JohnsonOzzie Walls
sheriff of Ford County
Patrick PageRufus R. Buckley
district attorney for Polk County
Tonya PinkinsGwen Hailey
Carl Lee's wife
Tom Skerritt
Broadway debut
Lucien Wilbanks
Fred Dalton ThompsonOmar Noose
circuit judge for Ford County
Jeffery M. BenderDeWayne Looney
a deputy
Dashiell EavesPete Willard
D.R. Musgrove
co-counsel to the district attorney
J. R. HorneVernon Pate
court deputy
John ProcaccinoDrew Tyndale
a public defender
Dr. W.T. Bass
Tijuana T. RicksNorma Gallo
court reporter
Lee SellarsBilly Ray Cobb
Dr. Wilbert Rodeheaver
head of staff at Whitfield Mental Hospital
Terrell Grist

Standby: Philip Kerr (Lucien Wilbanks)

Understudies: Jeffery M. Bender (Dr. Wilbert Rodeheaver, Pete Willard), Dashiell Eaves (Jake Brigance), J. R. Horne (Omar Noose), Morocco Omari (Carl Lee Hailey, DeWayne Looney, Ozzie Walls), Brenna Palughi (Ellen Roark, Norma Gallo), Tijuana T. Ricks (Gwen Hailey) and Lee Sellars (Rufus R. Buckley)

Reviews


AP: "'A Time To Kill' Is Not Worth Killing Time"

A paperback copy of John Grisham's novel "A Time to Kill" will set you back less than $10. The DVD of the film will cost a few bucks more. The new adaptation on Broadway? Tickets at the box office start at $70.

Save your money.

A puzzling version of Grisham's story which mashes up elements from both the book and the Matthew McConaughey-led movie opened Sunday at the John Golden Theatre with an inability to sustain any sense of drama.

That's pretty unforgivable since the story deals with the rape of a child, a double murder and a death row court case — all against the sounds of the KKK and NAACP protesting outside the Southern town's courthouse.

But director Ethan McSweeny and a talented cast that includes standouts Patrick Page, Tom Skerritt and Fred Dalton Thompson can't seem to get any traction with a story about the case of a black father who kills the white men who raped his daughter.

Perhaps we've all watched too many "Law & Orders" and are exhausted by listening to lawyers stipulate to this or object to that. Or perhaps we've seen this trial before, and there are no mysteries. Or perhaps the incessantly rotating set by James Noone takes all the air out of it.

Eighteen scenes whip by, each triggering a twist of the massive central turntable and a long pause with some ominous music as various props are arranged. It gets tiresome and clunky.

That also applies to the book, an adaptation by Rupert Holmes that simplifies the complex motives and emotions of the men and women in the book and film to the part of cartoons.

Stepping into the role of the seemingly overmatched defense attorney Jake Brigance is Sebastian Arcelus, who has a habit of adapting famous actors' roles onstage (he took over Will Ferrell's part in "Elf the Musical"). Here he struggles to give nuance since he's often the passive center of the script.

Page, his adversary, is at his glorious best, a smooth-talking and cocky politician with a gloriously Shakespearian bass voice. Skerritt nicely pulls off a charming disgraced and drunken lawyer and Thompson is a sure-footed judge, perfectly cast.

Ashley Williams, making her Broadway debut as Brigance's smarty-pants aide, shows confidence and great potential for comedy, but the role is tissue-thin. John Douglas Thompson as the jailed father balances uneasily between being wily and a simpleton.

Holmes has his choice of material from both book and film and so some choices are odd. Scenes between Thompson and his wife (a great Tonya Pinkins) seem true and honest, but having the newly freed man rush back to court to celebrate with Brigance is a little corny.

Holmes includes a movie scene that features a KKK member with a suitcase bomb, but in this version the KKK don't kill Brigance's dog or attack Brigance's aide. A huge burning cross with real flames is as unsubtle as, well, a huge burning cross.

There is no jury in this version — it's us. Act 2 is the trial itself and the spinning set goes into high gear. The lawyers and witnesses address us in the audience seats, but unlike Holmes' "The Mystery of Edwin Drood," the final outcome is then taken out of our hands.

Nonetheless, here's the verdict: If you have time to kill, pick up the novel or catch the movie.


AP
10/20/2013

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