Liz on Theatre

'To Kill a Mockingbird' Sustains Timeless Appeal

de0df92444acdbc83c7d_Green_room.jpg
de0df92444acdbc83c7d_Green_room.jpg

SUMMIT, NJ – The Summit Playhouse provides a stellar production of a much loved classic, “To Kill a Mockingbird.”

The Harper Lee novel, later a Gregory Peck film and now a stage production, retains all the warmth, intensity and integrity that made it such an appealing hit in the 1960s. And there will be a new production on Broadway in December with a script by Aaron Sorkin (“The West Wing” among other notable works) and starring Jeff Daniels.

In the Summit production, Mike King gives an understated, nuanced performance as Atticus Finch. His observations ring true as he shows through his own actions how his children should view the world.  His comments to the jury about the court of law and justice have a clarity much needed today. Karen Thornton plays his adult daughter, Jean Louis Finch, and serves as narrator in this reminiscence of her childhood.

Sign Up for E-News

Rose Gaeta is the tomboy, Scout, impetuous and outspoken. Her brother Hem is played by Cyrus Shields, who has his own concerns and misgivings about his father’s defense of the Negro, Tom Robinson (Josh Musgrave.) Their friend Dill Harris is played by Logan Guvenel.  All the children project beautifully, which doesn’t always happen with young, high pitched voices. And Tasha R. Williams as their housekeeper Calpurnia does her best to keep order among the youngsters.

Chip Prestera as Bob Ewell is incredibly convincing as the nasty parent to Mayella, who has accused Robinson of raping her. Sarah Pharaon captures the confusion and resentment of this young woman who we can see has led a lonely, desperate life despite her search for excitement. Musgrave as Robinson effectively projects the fear and humility in his precarious position.  

Joelle Bochner’s Miss Maudie sets the children straight when they start to question what’s going on with the trial. Hank Barre is Judge Taylor who does his best to impose order and an impartial presence in the courtroom. Bob Loucks as the state’s attorney, Horace Gilmer, clearly demonstrates the biases so prevalent at the time. The mysterious neighbor, Boo Radley is played by Steve Gabe and his presence is integral to a frightening Halloween experience for the children. All the actors, in fact, are thoroughly engaged and totally committed to being residents of Maycomb, Alabama, in 1935.  

Costume design by Ann Lowe and Beverly Wand reflect the depression era period and the set design by Kevern Cameron and Roy Pancirov ingeniously converts the proscenium stage from outdoor scenes of houses to the courtroom.

Kevern Cameron has astutely directed this play, dramatized by Christopher Sergel.  Performances run through May 20 at The Summit Playhouse, 10 New England Avenue in Summit.  For tickets, call 908-273-2192 or visit TheSummitPlayhouse.org.

Liz Keill reviews professional theatre in the New Jersey area, ranging from the McCarter Theatre in Princeton to Paper Mill Playhouse in Millburn. In addition to writing for Tapinto.net, she does theatre analysis for HometowneTV in Summit. She holds a Bachelor's in Journalism from Penn State and a Master's in Communication from Syracuse University. Liz is a member of the American Theatre Critics Association, which holds seminars at regional theatres across the country as well as in New York City.

The opinions expressed herein are the writer's alone, and do not reflect the opinions of TAPinto.net or anyone who works for TAPinto.net. TAPinto.net is not responsible for the accuracy of any of the information supplied by the writer.

TAP Into Another Town's News:

You May Also Be Interested In

Sign Up for E-News

Bridgewater/Raritan

Upcoming Events

Fri, June 22, 9:00 AM

The Wayrick Gallery, Scherman Hoffman Wildlife Sanctuary, Bernardsville

NJ Audubon: NJ Audubon Photography Instructors’ ...

Arts & Entertainment Green

Carousel_image_a70c7821d287d8cc57fb_6-22-18_bedlight_for_blue_eyes_2

Fri, June 22, 7:30 PM

Crossroads, Garwood

Benefit Concert

Giving Back

Fri, June 22, 8:30 PM

Jacobus Vanderveer House & Museum, Bedminster

Movie In The Park

Voters have Spoken : Bridgewater BOE's Barry Walker fails in attempt to unseat Mayor Daniel Hayes for Municipal Committee Seat

June 11, 2018

To the Editor:

Usually primary elections hold very little political drama but this year in our town I was very surprised to learn that the Board of Education's Barry Walker unsuccessfully ran a campaign against Mayor Daniel Hayes in an attempt to unseat him from his District 10 Municipal Committee Seat.

Now I know why many Independent voters like me stay out of ...

Bridgewater Police Investigating Report of $2K Worth of Tools Stolen from Car, According to Report

June 17, 2018

BRIDGEWATER, NJ - Bridgewater Township Police are investigating a report of a theft of more than $2,000 from a vehicle parked at the Home Depot, in the Bridgewater Towne Center, according to a report.

A Hillsborough resident reported June 3 at about 5:58 p.m. that his vehicle had been burglarized while parked at the Home Depot. The theft occurred between 5 p.m. and 5:50 p.m.

According to ...

Alternatives, in Raritan, Wins Healthier Somerset Gold Award for Outstanding Worksite Wellness Programs

June 19, 2018

RARITAN, NJ – Alternatives, Inc., of Raritan, was recognized with a 2018 Healthier Somerset Healthy Workplace Recognition Award for implementing worksite wellness programs that improve the health and wellbeing of its employees and clients.

Alternatives earned a Gold Award, which distinguishes companies with programs in place for at least five years, and in 10 award ...

Thousands Expected in Hillsborough for Sourland Music Festival

June 20, 2018

HILLSBOROUGH, NJ – The Sourland Music Festival will be held Saturday, June 23 from 3-10 p.m. at the Hillsborough Golf & Country Club at 146 Wertsville Road, rain or shine, to benefit the Sourland Conservancy.

Discounted advance-sale tickets are available online only, Children under 12 are admitted free.

“We’ve got a really powerful lineup of the region’s most ...

'Half Time' delivers with sterling cast

MILLBURN, NJ – The Paper Mill Playhouse is putting on a smashing new production of “Half Time” to round out its current season.

With actress Georgia Engel in an engaging performance, the cast also features Donna McKehnie, Andre De Shieilds and Lilias White, among a host of other talents.

The musical centers on an effort to have seniors perform a dance number during ...

'Half Time' lights up Paper Mill stage

‘Half Time’ turns the tables on aging in gleeful production

By Liz Keill

MILLBURN, NJ – The Paper Mill Playhouse is putting on a smashing new production of “Half Time” to round out its current season.

With actress Georgia Engel in an engaging performance, the cast also features Donna McKehnie, Andre De Shieilds and Lilias White, among a host of other ...