Adapted for the stage by Rupert Holmes and directed by Ethan McSweeny, the play is staged in a racially charged courtroom, with the audience acting as jury.
The drama centers on two Mississippi men, Billy Ray Cobb (Lee Sellars) and Pete Willard (Dashiell Eaves), who are charged with the rape of a ten-year-old African-American girl.
Her father, Carl Lee (John Douglas Thompson), murders both Cobb and Willard and turns to “street lawyer” Jake Brigance ( Arcelus) to represent him, calculating that the jury will understand his motive.
Time to Kill Cast Celebrates Broadway Debut
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But he didn’t figure on Deep South racism or the Ku Klux Klan getting involved.
The book, which also was adapted for a film by the same name in the 1996, raises the question about the morality of seeking vengeance for a horrible crime when the system may be slanted against you.
“For almost a quarter of a century, ‘A Time to Kill’ has captivated readers with its raw exploration of race, retribution and justice,” said Grisham in a statement. We look forward to audiences of all ages experiencing its essential message of equality, justice, and compassion for all.”
The play, which officially opened Oct. 20, is the first-ever Grisham novel adapted for the stage.
Also appearing are Fred Dalton Thompson, Patrick Page, Ashley Williams, Tonya Pinkins, Chike Johnson, Jeff Bender, Dashiell Eaves, J.R. Horne, John Procaccino, Tijuana Ricks and Lee Sellars.
Following the performance, Grisham and the cast headed to the Bryant Park Grill in Manhattan for an after-party. Check out the photos and follow TheImproper on Twitter for the latest news from Broadway.