Aaron Sorkin’s ‘To Kill A Mockingbird’ Is Broadway’s Highest Grossing American Play
Harper Lee’s classic To Kill A Mockingbird, which was adapted by Aaron Sorkin, has become the highest-grossing American play in Broadway history, breaking records with $40,113,926.13 in sales in just 27 weeks.
Producer Scott Rudin announced the new record last week, which means the play has surpassed Terrence McNally’s 2014 comedy It’s Only A Play, known for garnering $37,500,966. Since its debut, the show has broken the Shubert Theatre house record four times with cumulative gross sales sitting at more than $55 million. According to Deadline, Rudin said that not a single seat has gone unfilled since previews began last November.
“The success of To Kill a Mockingbird so quickly out of the gate is — beyond our obvious pride in what we made — actually a testament to Harper Lee and the power of her novel,” Rudin told The Hollywood Reporter. “Forty-five million copies is a lot of books, and we’re the beneficiaries of what she created.”
Mockingbird revolves around Lee’s classic tale, following the story of Atticus Finch and his experience defending a black man who has been accused of rape by a white girl. Set in Alabama in 1934, the book delves into the racial injustice throughout the segregated south.
The play, directed by Bartlett Sher, stars Jeff Daniels as Finch, along with Celia Keenan-Bloger, Will Pullen, Gideon Glick, LaTanya Richardson Jackson, and Danny Wolohan. Daniels has signed on to a full-year run.
Last year, Mockingbird almost didn’t hit the theatre, as Lee’s estate claimed Sorkin’s adaptation strayed too far from the original work and its themes. Sorkin ended up making some small tweaks, but ultimately stuck to his own adaptation of the play, noting that he wouldn’t “present a play that feels like it was written in the year the book was written in terms of its racial politics: It wouldn’t be of interest,” since the “world has changed since then.”
While Mockingbird has certainly broken records, the show is yet to beat Harry Potter and the Cursed Child; the two-part show in London has been named Broadway’s overall top-grossing play in America and beyond at $119 million.