Next up at Miami's Coconut Grove is To Kill A Mockingbird, adapted by Christopher Sergel from Harper Lee's Pulitzer Prize-winning book about a young girl named Scout, her attorney father, and the black man he defends in a Southern hamlet, circa 1930.
Set in a sleepy southern town, To Kill a Mockingbird follows Atticus Finch, an upstanding attorney and widowed father of two young children, as he quietly but resolutely stands against his fellow townspeople by defending a young black man falsely accused of raping a white woman. "You never really understand a person until you consider things from his point of view," says Atticus, a teacher of his neighbors as well as his children, "until you climb into his skin and walk around in it."
For Richard Mulligan's extraordinary 1962 film version of this indictment of bigotry, playwright Horton Foote won the Academy Award for Best Adapted Screenplay; Gregory Peck won for Best Actor.
Thomas Bullard directs Coconut Grove's mounting, which stars PA Walnut Street Theatre favorite, Will Stutts. Stutts' one-man shows at the Walnut have included Noel Coward At The Cafe De Paris, Walt Whitman, and the ineffable, Will Stutts' Tallulah! (Stutts is a cousin of the late Tallulah Bankhead).
Sergel's other adaptations include Pillow Talk, based on the Rock Hudson and Doris Day movie. Trivia note: Atticus Finch was based on Amasa Lee, Harper Lee's father. In the afterglow of the best-selling novel, the Pulitzer, the movie, and an invitation to dine with President John F. Kennedy at the White House, Lee sent his daughter a congratulatory telegram with the observation, "You'll have to go some to beat this one." She never wrote another book.
For tickest ($30-$35) and information on To Kill A Mockingbird at Coconut Grove call (305) 442-4000.