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‘To Kill a Mockingbird’s’ Starry Opening: Oprah, Hugh Jackman, Anne Hathaway and More

The Shubert Theatre in New York City was filled on Thursday night with Oscar winners, media titans, and, of course, Broadway legends who came out for the opening of “To Kill a Mockingbird.”

The starry guest list included Oprah Winfrey, Barry Diller, “Les Misérables” co-stars Hugh Jackman and Anne Hathaway, Jessica Chastain, Gayle King, Magic Johnson, EJ JohnsonSpike Lee, Fran Lebowitz, Hasan Minhaj, Samuel L. Jackson, Zosia Mamet, Andrew Rannells, Jon Hamm, Michael Stuhlbarg, Lesley Stahl, Iman, Bernadette Peters, George C. Wolfe, Adam Rippon, Tina Fey, Alex Witt, Brian Stokes Mitchell, Joe Morton, and Andrea Martin.

The stakes are high for the Broadway production, with a script by Aaron Sorkin and directed by Bartlett Sher, after facing opposition from the estate of “Mockingbird” novelist Harper Lee.

Anne Hathaway'To Kill a Mockingbird' Broadway play opening night, Arrivals, New York, USA - 13 Dec 2018
CREDIT: Stephen Lovekin/Variety/REX/Shutterstock

Molly Bloom, the real-life inspiration of the Sorkin-directed feature film “Molly’s Game,” was also spotted in the crowd.

“I don’t know how he had time to do this,” Bloom said of Sorkin. “’Molly’s Game’ was just last year at this time and he has so many other projects going for him. Aaron and I have become very good friends. I remember when this project came to him and how he didn’t hesitate even though it’s the story that creates such polarization, that really rifts on the controversial dialogue we have with people with different views. He just took it on.”

“I think it’s a career moment for him,” she continued. “But Aaron is also really devoted to humanity in his art. There is no one better to bring this.”

Jessica Chastain'To Kill a Mockingbird' Broadway play opening night, Arrivals, New York, USA - 13 Dec 2018
CREDIT: Stephen Lovekin/Variety/REX/Shutterstock

Jeff Daniels stars as the iconic attorney character Atticus Finch. Rounding out the cast are Celia Keenan-Bolger, Will Pullen, Gideon Glick, Frederick Weller, Gbenga Akinnagbe, Stark Sands, Dakin Matthews, Erin Wilhelmi, Danny McCarthyNeal Huff, Phyllis Somerville, Liv Rooth, Danny Wolohan, and LaTanya Richardson Jackson.

The powerhouse play tells the story of a 1930s Alabama town dealing with racial injustice and one man’s battle to defeat it.

Gayle King'To Kill a Mockingbird' Broadway play opening night, Arrivals, New York, USA - 13 Dec 2018
CREDIT: Stephen Lovekin/Variety/REX/Shutterstock

Billy Porter, who won a Tony for his work in “Kinky Boots,” said the message of inclusion from the Pulitzer Prize-winning novel resonates today.

“I feel like the arts have the capacity to change people, to change hearts and minds. Art as activism is something that I have always been a part of,” said Porter, who recently became a first-time Golden Globe nominee for his work on FX’s “Pose.” “’To Kill a Mockingbird’ is one of those pieces that paved the way for us to do that. It is very exciting.”

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