“To Kill a Mockingbird” will end its run at the Shubert Theatre on Sunday and move to the Belasco Theatre this June.
The move follows the news that “Girl from the North Country” will close at the Belasco Theatre on Jan. 23, with plans for spring return at another theater. “To Kill a Mockingbird” begins performances at the Belasco on June 1, with Greg Kinnear returning as Atticus Finch.
Relocating to the Belasco brings the production into a smaller venue, as the industry continues to weather the challenges brought on by the Omicron variant as well as the traditional winter slump in audience attendance. The production says the move will allow the show an “unrestricted run.”
This is the latest in non-traditional pandemic strategies on Broadway. “Mrs. Doubtfire” is currently on a nine-week hiatus, as producer Kevin McCollum aims to keep the production from closing and set it up for a longer term run.
“To Kill a Mockingbird” restarted at the Shubert Theatre on October 5, 2021, after the pandemic-induced closure of all Broadway theaters. The production originally opened on Broadway on Dec. 13, 2018.
When it returned this fall, “To Kill a Mockingbird” brought back original cast members Jeff Daniels and Celia Keenan-Bolger. Orin Wolf was brought on as executive producer to replace Scott Rudin after Rudin stepped away from his Broadway production.
Daniels and Keenan-Bolger recently left the play, with Kinnear and Baize Buzan taking over their roles starting Jan. 5. The production showed signs of continuing on at the Shubert Theatre, as the play announced Monday that it was taking part in Broadway week, selling two-for-one tickets to performances from Jan.18 through Feb. 13.
While uncommon, moving Broadway theaters is not unprecedented. In 2016, “The Humans,” also produced by Rudin, moved from the Helen Hayes Theater to the Gerald Schoenfeld Theater, to allow for renovation at the Hayes. The production took a two-week pause to allow for the move, the New York Times reported at the time.
Other notable examples include “Mamma Mia!” to the Broadhurst from the Winter Garden in 2013, and “The Lion King,” to the Minskoff from the New Amsterdam in 2006. “Beetlejuice” is planning to return to the Marriott Marquis Theatre this spring, after it was forced to vacate the Winter Garden Theatre in spring 2020.
The stage production of “To Kill a Mockingbird” was adapted by Aaron Sorkin from the novel written by Harper Lee. The show faced early controversy, when the production was sued by Lee’s estate in a case that was later settled.
However, once it started its Broadway run, the play proved popular among audiences and broke several box office records. The production announced recoupment of its $7.5 million capitalization in April 2019.
Its recent finances are more difficult to track, as individual shows are not reporting grosses this season. However, the general finances of the industry have recently taken a dip, with all shows reporting the lowest capacity of the season last week and the second lowest box office tally.