Review: To Kill a Mockingbird at Woodland Opera House

To Kill a Mockingbird: Fri 7:30pm, Sat 7:30pm, Sun 2pm. Through 10/7; $17-$25; Woodland Opera House, 340 Second Street in Woodland; (530) 666-9617;
Rated 4.0

The Woodland Opera House is currently staging Harper Lee’s iconic To Kill a Mockingbird, a play about racial injustice, set in the Depression-era South. Much controversy has been made in this country about reviving the play, with its use of the language of the era and inclusion of white supremacists at a time when they have become highly visible in this country again.

However, Woodland and director Cheryl Watson give this play the respect it is due in telling the story of a young black man, falsely accused of attacking the daughter of a white supremacist (excellent portrayal by Jason Hammond). He is defended by Atticus Finch (played by Brent Randolph), America’s favorite attorney, based on Lee’s father receiving the opprobrium of many in the town. Randolph makes a wise and caring Atticus and is well-cast, as are the three children who are central to the telling of the story.

This is an important look at what once was common in this country and what, if we are not careful, can be again. The white citizens are quick to judge without a shred of evidence, and the outcome of the play is obvious from the beginning. Still we root for Tom Robinson (David Guria, Jr), a truly good man.