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LaTanya Richardson Jackson

To Kill a Mockingbird

February 16, 2019

It has been well publicized that the Harper Lee estate filed a lawsuit in February 2018 alleging that the play deviated too much from the novel. They should not have worried. As directed by Bartlett Sher, Aaron Sorkin’s astutely scripted "To Kill a Mockingbird" with Jeff Daniels as Atticus Finch is a magnificent and moving theatrical experience that treats the novel with respect and dignity. The additions and changes from the novel only make the material more stage worthy and a better experience in the new medium. Harper Lee’s justly famous lines about it being a sin to kill a mockingbird and never knowing a person until you walk around in his or her skin brought an audible reaction from the audience at the performance under review, demonstrating that they were with the story all the way. [more]

The Taming of the Shrew (Shakespeare in the Park)

June 18, 2016

Aside from the obvious misogyny of Shakespeare’s comedy for modern audiences, there is the problem of the heroine’s unpalatable final speech in which she berates women for not being more subservient to their husbands. Lloyd’s solution is to frame the play as a country-western beauty pageant to choose “this year’s Miss Lombardy” whose emcee sounds an awful lot like presidential candidate Donald Trump. In fact, there is a good deal of satiric political talk with comedian Judy Gold as suitor Gremio doing an interpolated monologue complaining that the director is a woman and that “we’ve got a broad running for President.” [more]