The Mountaintop BROADWAY REVIEWS

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  • NY TIMES

  • NEWSDAY

  • BACKSTAGE

  • AP

  • AMNY

Opening Night:
October 13, 2011
Closing:
January 22, 2012

Theater: Bernard B. Jacobs / 242 West 45th Street, New York, NY, 10036

Synopsis: 

Taking place on April 3, 1968, The Mountaintop is a gripping reimagining of events the night before the assassination of civil rights leader Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. (Samuel L. Jackson), as he retires to Room 306 in the now famous Lorraine Motel in Memphis, after delivering his legendary 'I've Been to the Mountaintop' speech to a massive church congregation. When room-service is delivered by a young woman, whose identity we puzzle over, King is forced to confront his past, as well as his legacy to his people.

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  • NEW YORK TIMES REVIEW OF The Mountaintop

    April 3, 1968. Lorraine Motel. Evening.

    BEN BRANTLEY

    October 13, 2011: Even before the first flash of lightning — and there will be plenty of that before evening’s end — an ominous electricity crackles through the opening moments of “The Mountaintop,” Katori Hall’s surprisingly thin new play about a monumental subject, which opened on Thursday at the Bernard B. Jacobs Theater. It’s not that what we’re looking at appears in itself to be fraught with significance. It’s only a generic, dirt-toned motel room, depressingly familiar in its seediness.

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  • NEWSDAY REVIEW OF The Mountaintop

    It's worth a visit to MLK's 'Mountaintop'

    LINDA WINER

    October 13, 2011: The prospect of a Broadway play about Martin Luther King threatens to be as earnest as an after-school special or as nobly stone-faced as the new MLK monument in Washington. So it's a relief, not to mention a thrill, to report that Katori Hall's "The Mountaintop" -- which arrives with powerful fistfuls of sparky chemistry between Samuel L. Jackson and Angela Bassett -- crackles with theatricality and a humanity more moving than sainthood.

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  • BACKSTAGE REVIEW OF The Mountaintop

    NY Review: 'The Mountaintop'

    David Sheward

    October 13, 2011: This won the Olivier Award for best new play? The question kept flashing through my mind while sitting through "The Mountaintop," Katori Hall's two-character fantasy set on the night before Martin Luther King Jr.'s assassination in 1968. I did not see the London production, which garnered the aforementioned honor, but this American incarnation is so broadly acted by Angela Bassett and directed by Tony nominee Kenny Leon ("Fences," "A Raisin in the Sun") that it reduces its complex subject to simplistic sitcom material. Hall's script is equally reductive, treating the civil rights era and its impact as if they were Hallmark TV-movie fodder.

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  • ASSOCIATED PRESS REVIEW OF The Mountaintop

    Katori Hall's 'The Mountaintop' is a strange, wonderful trip about MLK's last day

    MARK KENNEDY

    October 13, 2011: Something very strange is happening in Room 306 of the Lorraine Motel. Playwright Katori Hall takes us into the room to reveal what it might have been like to be in the Memphis room in April 1968 on the night before the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. was assassinated. In the room, we watch a civil rights icon flirt, curse, get rattled by lightening, smoke Pall Malls, sip booze, acknowledge his stinky feet and even have a pillow fight with a young woman.

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  • AM NEW YORK REVIEW OF The Mountaintop

    Theater Review: 'The Mountaintop' -- 2 stars

    Matt Windman

    October 13, 2011: How can a play about a revered historical figure that allegedly received wild acclaim in London turn out to be so bad? “The Mountaintop,” Katori Hall’s 90-minute, two-character drama, depicts Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. on April 3, 1968, the night before his assassination. Samuel L. Jackson, in his Broadway debut, plays King alongside Angela Bassett. (Halle Berry was originally expected to co-star.)

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