Ethan McSweeney's stage adaptation coincides with this month's publication of Grisham's sequel.
John Grisham's electric first novel, A Time To Kill, has hit Broadway in an adaptation from the Tony Award-winning writer, Rupert Holmes. Grisham's legal suspense thriller follows the work of attorney Jake Brigance who represents a man charged with capital murder after he guns down the rapists of his 10 year-old daughter.
Sebastian Arcelus & John Douglas Thompson At 'A Time To Kill' Opening Night.
Sebastian Arcelus ('House of Cards') plays Brigance in this stage adaptation alongside Fred Dalton Thompson as the judge, Patrick Page as the prosecutor and Tom Skerritt as the mentor and Ashley Williams is the sharp-witted law student whichconstitutes an "engaging cast playing juicy dramatic characters," according to Bloomberg.
"James Noone's expressive set," is admired by Variety as the play is praised for bringing a real courtroom feel to Broadway. It is assed that Arcelus "brings a personable quality to Jake" in what is an extremely challenging role. However, Variety gripes that the staged version does not accurately convey the 1980s time period in which the story is set; a key facet of the play that contextualises the racism and attitudes.
"It doesn't translate to the period. There's no 1980s documentary reality to the unfocussed digital projections of Ku Klux Klan rallies and NAACP protest marches. No 1980s references in Jake's law office. Even the unbecoming suits worn in and out of the courtroom are more generic work outfits than outdated fashions," Marilyn Stasio writes.
Ethan McSweeney, Sebastian Arcelus & John Grisham.
Readers may be familiar with the 1996 film adaptation, starring Matthew McConaughey in the lead role. USA Today remarks that Holmes' stage adaptation may be stronger than the movie, writing "Holmes' Kill is more sharply focused than the 1996 film adaptation of the novel, and does a better job of incorporating folksy humor into the disturbing and at times pedantic story."
However, the New York Times takes the opposing view, implying that the staged version may be victim to the shadow of the film: "if you've seen the movie, you may at times feel like you're watching it again through a slightly blurry lens, since both Mr. Arcelus and Mr. Page seem to have been cast for their ability to impersonate their counterparts in the film."
The Opening Night Was Deemed A Success.
A Time To Kill is staged at NYC's John Golden Theater until the 2nd March 2014.