John Grisham’s “A Time to Kill” Set for Broadway in Fall 2013
Rick Miramontez / Pete Sanders / Scott Braun
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FIRST ANNOUNCEMENT OF
A NEW BROADWAY PLAY
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
*FROM THE PAGE TO THE STAGE*
*A BROADWAY EVENT*
“ A T I M E T O K I L L ”
OF A GRISHAM NOVEL
WILL PLAY BROADWAY’S
JOHN GOLDEN THEATRE
A NEW BROADWAY PLAY BY
TO OPEN FALL 2013
DIRECTED BY ETHAN McSWEENY
New York, NY – Producers Daryl Roth and Eva Price announced today that Tony® Award-winning playwright Rupert Holmes’ stage adaptation of A Time to Kill, John Grisham’s best-selling novel, will open on Broadway on October 20, 2013 at the John Golden Theatre (252 West 45th Street). This new Broadway play holds the distinction of being the first-ever John Grisham property to be adapted for the stage. Ethan McSweeny (Gore Vidal’s The Best Man) will direct, with previews beginning September 28th. Additional information, including the complete casting and creative team, will be announced shortly.
“For almost a quarter of a century, A Time to Kill has captivated readers with its raw exploration of race, retribution and justice,” said John Grisham in a statement. “It was my first book and the first that I have allowed to be adapted for the theatre. Rupert Holmes did an excellent job of translating it from the page to the stage, and I am happy that not only my loyal readers, but a whole new audience will be able to experience this story in live theatre. I am looking forward to opening night on Broadway!”
“John Grisham’s endlessly gripping, perfectly-plotted storytelling is so well suited for the live theater, and we are thrilled to be bringing this first-ever stage adaptation of one his novels to Broadway,” said Ms. Roth and Ms. Price. “Rupert Holmes has written an adaptation that masterfully replicates for theatergoers the page-turning thrill of reading a Grisham novel, while also honoring the powerful intimacy of its exploration of the injustices of our not-so-distant past. We look forward to audiences of all ages experiencing its essential message of equality, justice, and compassion for all.”
A Time to Kill, the popular courtroom drama, tells the emotionally charged, now-iconic story of a young, idealistic lawyer, Jack Brigance, defending a black man, Carl Lee Hailey, for taking the law into his own hands following an unspeakable crime committed against his young daughter. Their small Mississippi town is thrown into upheaval, and Jake finds himself arguing against the formidable district attorney, Rufus Buckley, and under attack from both sides of a racially divided city. This drama is a thrilling courtroom battle where the true nature of what is right and what is moral are called into question.
Tickets for A Time to Kill go on sale in early July, date to be announced. For additional information, please visit the official website at www.ATimeToKillOnBroadway.com beginning June 26th.
John Grisham is one of the best-selling authors of all time, having written some of the most popular legal thrillers in the history of publishing, beginning in 1988 with A Time to Kill. Since then, he has written a novel a year, amassing 275 million books in print worldwide, which have been translated into 40 languages. Nine of his novels have been turned into films (The Firm, The Pelican Brief, The Client, A Time to Kill, The Rainmaker, The Chamber, A Painted House, The Runaway Jury, and Skipping Christmas), as was an original screenplay, The Gingerbread Man. Long before his name became synonymous with the modern legal thriller, Grisham was working 60-70 hours a week at a small Southaven, Mississippi, law practice, squeezing in time before going to the office and during courtroom recesses to work on his hobby—writing his first novel. Born on February 8, 1955 in Jonesboro, Arkansas, to a construction worker and a homemaker, John Grisham as a child dreamed of being a professional baseball player. Realizing he didn’t have the right stuff for a pro career, he shifted gears and majored in accounting at Mississippi State University. After graduating from law school at Ole Miss in 1981, he went on to practice law for nearly a decade in Southaven, specializing in criminal defense and personal injury litigation. In 1983, he was elected to the state House of Representatives and served until 1990.
The multihyphenate Rupert Holmes has made his mark across various mediums, as playwright, composer, orchestrator, songwriter, novelist, and television writer. For the theater, he won the 1986 Tony® Awards for Best Book and Best Score for The Mystery of Edwin Drood. He has also received Tony nominations for 2003 Best Play for Say Goodnight Gracie and 2007 Best Book of a Musical and Best Score for Kander & Ebb’s Curtains. His other Broadway credits include Solitary Confinement and Accomplice. His regional credits include the Washington, D.C. staging of A Time to Kill at Arena Stage; The Nutty Professor at TPAC; Robin and the 7 Hoods at The Old Globe; and Marty at Huntington. For television, he created, wrote and scored AMC’s original series “Remember WENN.” An accomplished novelist, he has also written Where the Truth Lies, Swing, and the upcoming novel series for Simon & Schuster, The McMasters Guide to Homicide. As a songwriter and recording artist, Holmes achieved a #1 hit with “Escape (The Pina Colada Song)” and wrote songs for Barbra Streisand’s 1975 album Lazy Afternoon, among many others.
Director Ethan McSweeny made his mark on New York with his breakout 1998 production of John Logan’s Never the Sinner, which won Drama Desk and Outer Critics Circle Awards, followed by his Broadway debut with the revival of Gore Vidal’s The Best Man, which received a 2001 Tony Award® nomination for Best Revival of a Play. His other notable New York credits include the premieres of Kate Fodor’s Rx (Primary Stages) and 100 Saints You Should Know (Playwrights Horizons), and Jason Grote’s 1001 (P73). His career has spanned a remarkably diverse body of work that includes more than 60 productions, from world premieres (1001, 100 Saints, and Trinity River Plays among others), to noted productions of classics (from Aeschylus’ The Persians to Shakespeare’s The Merchant of Venice), to revivals from the American canon (including Miller’s A View from the Bridge, Albee’s Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf, and Williams’ The Glass Menagerie) to musicals both new and old (Adam Gwon’s Ordinary Days, and the upcoming Pirates of Penzance). Mr. McSweeny directed an earlier version of A Time to Kill at Arena Stage. He has directed on many of the nation’s most prestigious stages including the Guthrie, the Goodman, the Old Globe, the Shakespeare Theatre, the Denver Center, the Alley, Dallas Theater Center, South Coast Rep, CenterStage, Pittsburgh Public, George Street Playhouse, San Jose Rep, Westport Playhouse, the Wilma, Primary Stages, Playwrights Horizons, and the National Actors Theatre, among others.
Daryl Roth just received the 2013 Tony® Award for Best Musical for her hit production of Kinky Boots. He holds the singular distinction of producing seven Pulitzer Prize-winning plays: August: Osage County (Tony Award), Proof (Tony Award), Wit, How I Learned to Drive, Anna in the Tropics, Edward Albee’s Three Tall Women, and Clybourne Park (Tony Award). Over 85 Award-winning productions including: Love, Loss, and What I Wore; The Baby Dance; Bea Arthur on Broadway; Camping with Henry and Tom; Caroline, or Change; A Catered Affair; Closer Than Ever; Curtains; De La Guarda; Defying Gravity; Die Mommie Die!; The Divine Sister; Driving Miss Daisy; Fela!; Edward Albee’s The Goat, or Who Is Sylvia? (Tony Award); Irena’s Vow; A Little Night Music; Manuscript; Medea; The Normal Heart (Tony Award); Old Wicked Songs; One Man, Two Guvnors; Edward Albee’s The Play About the Baby; Salome; Snakebit; The Tale of the Allergist’s Wife; The Temperamentals; Thom Pain…; Through the Night; Thurgood; Twilight: Los Angeles, 1992; Vigil; War Horse (Tony Award); Albee’s Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?; The Year of Magical Thinking; and the documentary film My Dog: An Unconditional Love Story.
Eva Price was most recently represented on Broadway by Peter and the Starcatcher, which won 5 Tony Awards during its celebrated run and now continues Off-Broadway at New World Stages. Broadway: Annie (2013 Tony nomination for Best Revival of a Musical), Lewis Black, Franke Valli and the Four Seasons, Kathy Griffin Wants A Tony, Colin Quinn Long Story Short, The Merchant of Venice, The Addams Family, Wishful Drinking, How the Grinch Stole Christmas. Selected Off-Broadway and Touring: Forever Dusty, Voca People, Ella, The Magic School Bus Live!, ‘S Wonderful. Eva was recently named to Crain’s New York “40 Under Forty” Rising Stars in Business and Blouin Art Info’s “Top 25 Under 35” Emerging Broadway Players.