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Entertainment & Arts

Aaron Sorkin’s ‘To Kill a Mockingbird’ to play Los Angeles’ Ahmanson Theatre

Jeff Daniels and Gbenga Akinnagbe in Broadway’s “To Kill a Mockingbird,” which will play in Los Angeles while on tour.
Jeff Daniels and Gbenga Akinnagbe in the Broadway production of “To Kill a Mockingbird.” The play will stop in Los Angeles while on tour.
(Julieta Cervantes)

Atticus Finch is coming to Los Angeles.

Aaron Sorkin’s stage play “To Kill a Mockingbird” — which now holds the record for highest-grossing American play in Broadway history — will be part of Center Theatre Group’s 2020–21 season at the Ahmanson Theatre.

Directed by Bartlett Sher, the touring version of the Broadway production will star Tony Award nominee and Emmy Award winner Richard Thomas (“The Waltons,” “The Americans”) as Atticus Finch, the lead role originated by Jeff Daniels and currently played by Ed Harris.

The Los Angeles engagement is part of the play’s two-year-plus national tour, which kicks off in August 2020 in Washington, D.C. Further casting and specific dates for the L.A. run will be announced later.

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Sorkin took some liberties in his adaptation of Harper Lee’s Pulitzer-winning novel, which illustrates the complexities of racial injustice in Depression-era Alabama through the eyes of a child — Scout, Finch’s daughter.

This version shifts the emphasis to Finch, a small-town lawyer who has agreed to defend a black man accused of raping a poor white woman, and it gives some of the novel’s supporting characters new agency onstage.

Although the show’s push for these changes initially led to legal turmoil with Lee’s controlling estate, the resulting production opened on Broadway last December, breaking house box-office records and earning nine Tony nominations.

In his review of the play last year, Times theater critic Charles McNulty called it a “top-flight” production that “for all the distortions and limitations ... finds ways through Atticus’ character to speak directly to our troubled times about the inseparability of race and justice in America.”

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Center Theatre Group’s 2020–21 season at the Ahmanson Theatre also includes the previously announced Tony Award-winning musicals “Hadestown” and “Dear Evan Hansen,” the latter in its return engagement.


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