The classic story by Harper Lee comes to life again, at the Cincinnati Playhouse in the Park after a twenty absence. This adaptation by Christopher Sergel under the direction of Eric Ting opened March 10. The theater was packed, and crowd was energized. Ting in this production creates a performance that is dramatic, driven, and emotional charged capturing the true spirit of the times and circumstances.
It is depression-era Maycomb. Alabama prejudice and biases run deep in the South in the heart and soul of those who live there and struggle to make a living. A man of color is an easy scapegoat for those with problems rather than facing personal choices and situations. This story deals with a town hidden secrets, contrasted with questions of truth, justice and the concept of good versus evil.
The story centers around character of Atticus Finch an honest lawyer with integrity and honor known to take his time and do the right thing and not the necessarily the easy thing. He was a summons by Judge Taylor to defend a black man Tom Robinson from charges of rape by Mayella Ewell. Tom Robinson a handyman of sorts always has to pass by residence of Mayella Ewell in order to get to his job. She lives there with her father and siblings. Bob Ewell her father was known to be of questionable character and the town drunk. Mayella was always trying to get Tom’s attention as he passes. Atticus’s in his defend of Tom his children Scout and Jem, and their friend Dill gets an up-close look how friends can turn to enemies in desperation.
John Feltch in the role of Atticus is impressive and believable a lawyer against all the odds definitely a true hero.
Brook Chambererlin as Scout is superb in reflecting the boldness and curiosity of young child not scarred by life willing to ask the questions that need answers.
Gabriel Lawerence as Tom Robinson reflected the sincerity of the character just a hardworking man trying to raise a family and struggling against racial undertones in the community in which he lives. Gabriel was excellent.
Kevin Cristaldi as Bob Ewell as the mean spirited drunk and father is so good in the role you can feel the evil spewing out of him.
Dale Hodges is Jean Louise Finch the character of Scout as an older woman recalling these events, she takes the show to a new level connecting the pieces.
Audiences will find “To Kill a Mockingbird” as an entertaining and artistic jewel. More information is available at the Cincinnati Playhouse in the Park website at http://www.cincyplay.com/