Home business Broadway: To Save a “Mockingbird,” Media Mogul Barry Diller Brings Back Jeff...

The first of Scott Rudin’s Broadway shows is coming back without him as producer.

Media mogul Barry Diller, who financed the original production with David Geffen, is bringing back Harper Lee’s “To Kill a Mockingbird,” adapted by Aaron Sorkin, to Broadway in October.

Diller returns with the original stars, Jeff Daniels and Celia Keenan-Bolger, and without Rudin, who was expelled from the theater community for severely awful behavior. Orin Wolf, who has a string of productions under his belt, is going to run the show.

Producers say “Mockingbird” has made $125 million since it began in November 2018, but that’s because tickets during Daniels’ run skyrocketed up to huge prices. When Daniels left and beloved actor Ed Harris came in, the numbers went down.

Diller had to bring back Daniels to save the show. In November 2019 I reported that “Mockingbird” had fallen considerably at the box office. By the beginning of March 2020, before the pandemic closure, “Mockingbird” had lots of empty seats.  The return of the play, which Sorkin adapted from Harper Lee’s famous novel, is officially open ended, but my guess is when Daniels gets a movie or TV series, they’ll wrap it for good this time rather than bring in a replacement.

As for Rudin, no one says what’s happened to his staff including producer Eli Bush, who was in lock step with Rudin for years.


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