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‘A Time to Kill’ Becomes First John Grisham Novel Adapted for Broadway

Best-selling book is being adapted by the songwriter behind "Escape (The Piña Colada Song)"

"A Time to Kill" will be adapted for Broadway, marking the first time one of John Grisham's legal thrillers has made it to the stage. 

The new version will be written by Rupert Holmes, who is probably best known for penning the hit song "Escape (The Piña Colada Song)" that was featured prominently in "Shrek." Holmes' oeuvre extends beyond catchy pop numbers, however. He won a Tony Award for his comic musical "The Mystery of Edwin Drood" and a Drama Desk honor for the musical mystery "Curtains."

That said, the tale of a racially charged murder trial does seem like a dramatic departure from Holmes' previous frothy fare.

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"A Time to Kill" will begin previews at the John Golden Theater on Sept. 28 and open on Oct. 20.

Ethan McSweeny, who oversaw the recent revival of "Gore Vidal’s the Best Man," will direct the show.

In addition to being a best-selling novel, "A Time to Kill" was made into a film in 1996. It was a box office hit and helped launch the film career of Matthew McConaughey.

The courtroom drama follows a young defense lawyer who gets involved in the trial of a black man who exacted bloody revenge on a group of men who raped his young daughter.

“For almost a quarter of a century, 'A Time to Kill' has captivated readers with its raw exploration of race, retribution and justice,” Grisham said in a statement. “It was my first book and the first that I have allowed to be adapted for the theater. Rupert Holmes did an excellent job of translating it from the page to the stage, and I am happy that not only my loyal readers, but a whole new audience will be able to experience this story in live theater."