To Kill a Mockingbird
The people at the Sacramento Theatre Company seem to enjoy doing plays with book-and-movie tie-ins—like Harper Lee’s 1960 Pulitzer-winning novel, To Kill a Mockingbird. Teachers still assign the book; many people also recall the 1962 film version, which netted an Oscar for Gregory Peck.
STC’s current production differs from its equally sturdy 2006 version (which was directed by Philip Charles Sneed, with Carolyn Howarth as the older version of Scout) in one significant way. This new production (directed by Buddy Butler) features artistically ambidextrous performances from the popular Davis-based Americana duo Misner and Smith (who are Equity actors and professional musicians.
Sam Misner plays Atticus Finch, Megan Pearl Smith plays the older version of Scout, and they both contribute songs in various scenes. (Let’s be clear that this is a play-with-music, rather than a musical adaptation of Christopher Sergel’s script based on Lee’s novel.)
Other high points include 25-year-old Tarig Elsiddig (who’s done some shows at Celebration Arts) as the falsely accused Tom Robinson, versatile veteran Georgeann Wallace as gossipy neighbor Stephanie Crawford and 13-year-old Fiona Gillogly as the young Scout (played in some performances by Vivian White). Sean Morneau is also good as the scruffy, suspicious yahoo Bob Ewell. The familiar story yields few surprises for most in the audience, but it’s a bona fide American classic, effectively rendered here.