Best do-right man (2000)

Paul Borrillo in To Kill a Mockingbird

It might be difficult to understand why the main character in Harper Lee's To Kill a Mockingbird willingly subjects himself to vilification, but an actor who portrays Atticus Finch must also contend with the unsettling realization that he inhabits a role that earned Gregory Peck an Oscar in the 1962 film version. Happily, Paul Borrillo's turn in the Arvada Center's sold-out production radiated with conviction, charisma and, most of all, abiding self-respect. Whether he was dealing with his children's day-to-day crises, the community's brewing concerns or the legal system's intricate workings, the local stalwart endowed each scene with an empathy that humanized his character's professorial musings. And rather than transform Atticus's famous closing argument into a fiery lecture, Borrillo delivered a heartfelt appeal to common decency, giving full expression to a form of human goodness that Abraham Lincoln referred to as "the better angels of our nature."


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