I am sad to report that the stage adaptation of A Time To Kill based on the novel by John Grisham, at left, will be closing its Broadway run on Nov. 17.
The courtroom drama had its world premiere in May 2011 at the Arena Stage in Washington, D.C., where it received a good response from critics and audiences.
And A Time To Kill’s pedigree is quite good.
It was adapted by Rupert Holmes, the Tony-, Edgar- and Grammy-Award winning playwright and composer.
Ethan McSweeny, who directed the Arena Stage version, helmed the Broadway play. The cast included John Douglas Thompson, Sebastian Arcelus, and Fred Dalton Thompson, who played District Attorney Arthur Branch for five seasons on Law & Order, making his Broadway debut.
A Time To Kill was Grisham’s first novel and, in many ways, it was a game changer for the legal thriller. It wasn’t just about the law—it was about a community, racism and idealism.
And Rubert Holmes, rght, one of my favorite playwrights, is responsible for one of the best theatrical evenings of my life when my husband and I saw his Curtains during its previews.
Holmes has twice taken home a Tony, for Accomplice in 1991 and for The Mystery of Edwin Drood in 1986. The musical Curtains, a tribute to mystery fiction plots, earned Holmes a 2007 Drama Desk Award for its book. Nominated for 17 Tonys, Curtains also earned Tony Awards for David Hyde Pierce (best actor in a musical) and Debra Monk (best supporting actress in a musical).
Holmes also is a mystery writer. Swing was set in San Francisco and included its own soundtrack. (Mystery Scene profiled Holmes in the Winter 2010 issue, No. 113.)