“To Kill a Mockingbird,” a stage adaptation of the classic novel that announced a temporary hiatus in January after Jeff Daniels left the cast and the Omicron variant hit New York, will not reopen on Broadway.
The play’s writer, Aaron Sorkin, and director, Bartlett Sher, emailed the play’s cast and crew on Thursday night informing them of the decision, and they blamed the lead producer for the play. Originally, Scott Rudin, who had walked away from an active role on the show. after being accused of mistreating collaborators. According to Sorkin and Sher, “At the last moment Scott re-inserted himself as producer and for reasons frankly incomprehensible to both of us he prevented the play from reopening.”
Rudin, who continued to control the rights to the stage adaptation of Harper Lee’s novel, sent his own email to Sorkin and Sher on Friday, attributing the decision to the economic situation on Broadway, where overall ticket sales have slumped. lagged behind pre-pandemic levels. Both emails were obtained by The Times.
“The reason I chose not to bring TKAM back has to do with my lack of confidence in the gaming climate next winter,” Rudin wrote, using an acronym for “To Kill a Mockingbird.” He added: “I don’t think a Mockingbird remount would have been competitive in the marketplace.”
The show continues to have a healthy life outside of New York. A production in London’s West End began in March, and a nationwide US tour began in Boston in April. These productions are not affected by the Broadway closure.
The play opened on Broadway in late 2018 and was a success before the pandemic, regularly selling around $2 million in tickets a week, which is quite high for a play, and recouping its $7.5 million in tickets. investment 19 weeks after opening.
Broadway closed in March 2020 due to the pandemic, and “To Kill a Mockingbird” resumed performances last October, with Daniels returning as Atticus Finch, as he had during the first year of the room. The play sold well through early January, except for a week when breakthrough Covid cases forced performance cancellations; Daniels left the cast on January 2, at a time when Broadway revenue was already plunging due to the resurgence of the pandemic, and the show’s revenue plummeted.
The play halted performances at the Shubert Theater on January 16, and then-lead producer Barry Diller said it would resume performances June 1 at the Belasco Theater. This did not happen, and according to Sher and Sorkin’s email, the most recent plan was for the play to resume performances on November 2 at the Music Box Theater.
Sher and Sorkin described themselves in the email as ‘heartbroken’ and said they ‘mourn the loss of all of the jobs – on stage, backstage and front of house – which have simply disappeared’ . Rudin, in his email, said: “It’s too risky and the downsides are too great. I’m sorry you’re disappointed. It’s the right decision for the long life of the series.
Sher, Sorkin and Rudin all declined to comment, as did a spokesperson for the play. The decision not to reopen the play was previously reported by website Showbiz411.