Broadway Bound Favorites: Mockingbird and Frozen

Big news in New York theater this week! Two high-profile adaptations are Broadway bound: Harper Lee's Pulitzer winning novel, To Kill a Mockingbird, and Disney's 2014 Oscar winning animated film, Frozen

To Kill a Mockingbird and Frozen head for Broadway

To Kill a Mockingbird on Broadway

Two years ago producer Scott Rudin began fishing to land the Broadway rights for Harper Lee’s Pulitzer Prize-winning novel To Kill a Mockingbird. And it’s finally a done deal, the announcement coming yesterday that Mockingbird will most likely be arriving during the 2017-2018 season. The script will be penned by playwright/screenwriter Aaron Sorkin, the force field behind TV’s multi-Emmy-winning West Wing, while Tony-winning director Bartlett Sher (South Pacific; currently represented on Broadway by the critically-acclaimed Fiddler on the Roof revival) will helm the production (cast and creative TBA).

When Rudin, a lifelong Mockingbird fan, began his campaign, it was before Lee’s controversial Go Set a Watchmanwritten prior to Mockingbird and featuring many of the same characters, but set in its futurehit the stands last summer to mixed reviews. Which makes this new development all the more intriguing, especially when you take into account that Lee, now 89, is well known for keeping a low profile (not J.D. Salinger low, he was reclusive and litigious; she’s introverted and private), but close. 

For the record, this will not be the first stage adaption of Mockingbird: Christopher Sergel’s version, sanctioned by Lee, debuted in 1991 at New Jersey’s Paper Mill Playhouse, and is revived annually in Lee’s hometown of Monroeville, Alabama. The Oscar-winning film starring Gregory Peck as Atticus Finch was adapted for the screen by Oscar-winning screenwriter Horton Foote. 

Frozen on Broadway

Disney lovers will want to set their calendars for Spring of 2018 so they’re among the first to score tickets for the company’s newest animated film-to-Broadway musical event: Frozen. Sitting in the director’s seat will be Tony-nominee Alex Timbers (Bloody, Bloody Andrew Jackson, Peter and the Starcatcher, and Rocky the Musical), while Peter Darling (Matilda) has signed on as choreographer. 

And while it may be some time before a cast is announced, the balance of the creative team’s building blocks are already pretty much in place. Not surprisingly, a few film alumni are on board: Jennifer Lee as book writer and Kristen Anderson-Lopez and Robert Lopez, who landed the Academy Award for Best Original Song for the film’s “Let It Go,” will be composing the score. [The duo’s musical credits aren’t too shabby, either: The Book of Mormon and Avenue Q.] 

The movie release of Frozen2014’s Oscar winner for Best Animated Filmpremiered November 27th, 2013, and starred Broadway veterans Idina Menzel (Wicked: Tony Award), Jonathan Groff, and Santino Fonatana. To date, it is the highest grossing animated film of all time, which bodes very well indeed for a long and healthy Broadway shelf life.

About the Author

City Guide Theatre Editor Griffin Miller moved to New York to pursue an acting/writing career in the 1980s after graduating magna cum laude from Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland, Ohio. Since then, she has written for The New York Times, For the Bride, Hotels, and a number of other publications, mostly in the areas of travel and performance arts. An active member of The New York Travel Writers Association, she is also a playwright and award-winning collage artist. In addition, she sits on the board of The Lewis Carroll Society of North America. Griffin is married to Richard Sandomir, a reporter for The New York Times.

Bringing a group to NYC? Free planning services

Let us know what you are looking for and we will try to connect you directly and get discounts.

Enter the code: 3972

More Articles