Monday, March 27, 2023

Greg Kinnear is (again) ready for his Broadway debut

NEW YORK (AP) – Greg Kinnear was just a month away from making his Broadway debut in the drama “To Kill a Mockingbird” in March 2020 when the pandemic stopped. He’s not giving up: Early next year, he’ll try again.

Jeff Daniels, a two-time Emmy Award winner and Oscar nominee, is expected to play Atticus Finch from January 5, 2022.

“There is nothing in the Greg Kinnear IMDb credits that you would find that would suggest that I am in any way a clear choice to take on this role,” he tells the Associated Press. “All this will be a new endeavor for me. I welcome it and I am thrilled about it.”

“To Kill a Mockingbird” by Harper Lee won the Pulitzer Prize in 1961 and was widely praised as a sensitive portrait of the racial tensions in 1930s Alabama. At its core is Atticus Finch, a lawyer called to defend a black man who was falsely accused of raping a white woman.

Lee’s iconic book has been adapted for the stage by Aaron Sorkin, who has won an Academy Award and a Golden Globe Award for his screenplay for “The Social Network”. The play is directed by Bartlett Sher.

Sorkin’s script—which cuts through the minor characters’ undergrounds and amplifies others, most notably Maid Calpurnia and Tom Robinson, who was falsely accused of rape—was the thing that really grabbed hold of Kinnear.

“It hit me so emotionally. It’s such a beautiful, slight modernization of the material to make it relevant in a way that it’s just so great,” he said.

“I feel like he humanizes Atticus in a way that needs to happen. And, at the same time, all the texture and power of the book I don’t think is lost in any way.”

Kinnear has toured New York to discuss the role with the creative team, and when he hasn’t seen the show yet, he has moved on to the vacant 1,435-seat Schubert Theater Stage. “I felt a little bit catching my breath,” he says.

He is due to begin rehearsals in December and has yet to decide whether he will see Daniel in the role during his four-week preparation.

“I’m sure I’ll be surprised if I go and see it. But there’s a part of me that feels like maybe keeping some distance from it liberates a little bit of creativity, there’s no looking back, They say.

Kinnear earned an Oscar for “As Good as It Gets” and his additional credits include “You’ve Got Mail,” “Little Miss Sunshine,” “Sabrina” and “Baby Mama.” He also has two Daytime Emmy Awards for “Talk Soup”.

He admits that his theater experience is limited, but he performed in a 2012 production at the New York Stage and Film’s Powerhouse Theater. He says he trusts the cast and crew of ‘To Kill a Mockingbird’. “I’m happy to join the ride,” he said.


Mark Kennedy is on Twitter as KennedyTwitters

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