To Kill a Mockingbird In Bonnie Hewitt's Playhouse 1960 production of Harper Lee's phenomenally successful one-hit wonder, time moves too slowly in sleepy Maycomb, Georgia. Sleepy shouldn't mean comatose. There are interminable pauses and gaps that need filling — with action, music, sound, anything — to keep our interest. Granted, Lee's story is perennially fascinating with its simple, faux poetry and honest telling of how upright Atticus Finch battles racial prejudice with common dignity in the Depression-poor South, but tired pacing is still tired pacing. The acting is all over the place, which may be a clue, as some of the townsfolk register more strongly than the leads, throwing off the play's focus. Young Connor Heaton acquits himself nicely as Jem, though, gangly and on the cusp of growing up, while Rissa Medlenka, as Scout, is feisty and playful. Chuck Houston, as Atticus, grows in stature as the play progresses (Ms. Lee helps), but he still needs more of that moral center of gravity. He seems so aloof, he vanishes. And there's no atmosphere at all to speak of, which the play and book are full of — court scene aside, that's all this play is, nothing but atmosphere. Maria O. Sirgo, as grownup narrator Scout, gives coherence to the show and adds a special overlay of bemused wistfulness to the nostalgia. They haven't quite coalesced as a team yet; how about a round of mint juleps? That should help. Through October 25. 8614 Gant Rd., 281-587-8243. — DLG

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