Will Angela Bassett Climb Broadway's Mountaintop?

News   Will Angela Bassett Climb Broadway's Mountaintop?
 
Academy Award nominee Angela Bassett may join Samuel L. Jackson in the Broadway premiere of the 2010 Olivier Award-winning Best Play, The Mountaintop, which will begin performances Sept. 22 at the Bernard B. Jacobs Theatre.

Angela Bassett
Angela Bassett Photo by Frederick Johnson

The New York Post reports that Bassett is currently in negotiations to play the role of Camae, a mysterious maid at the Lorraine Motel, opposite Jackson's Martin Luther King in Katori Hall's The Mountaintop, which will be directed by Tony Award nominee Kenny Leon (Fences, A Raisin in the Sun).

Opening night is scheduled for Oct. 13.

It had been rumored that Halle Berry would star in the production, but she is unable to due to "child custody issues," according to a previous press statement.

Bassett ("Malcolm X," "How Stella Got Her Groove Back") played Tina Turner in the film "What's Love Got to Do With It" (earning an Oscar nomination) and starred in Fences at Pasadena Playhouse.

Producers are Jean Doumanian Productions, Sonia Friedman Productions are Ambassador Theatre Group.  

In a joint statement, Doumanian and Friedman said, “The Mountaintop is a brilliantly conceived gem of a play. An ambitious work of fiction that is powerful, heartbreaking, humorous and exhilarating. We are thrilled to be bringing Katori Hall’s remarkable, Olivier-winning work to New York, and to present a singular new American voice to Broadway audiences. And we are honored to be presenting the Broadway debut of the great Samuel L. Jackson.”

Taking place on April 3, 1968, The Mountaintop, according to press notes, is a "gripping reimagining of events the night before the assassination of civil rights leader Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., 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."

The Mountaintop received its world premiere to critical acclaim in a three-week run at Theatre 503 in June 2009, and subsequently transferred to the West End’s Trafalgar Studio 1. The production received two Evening Standard Awards nominations, including Most Promising Playwright, and was awarded the 2010 Olivier Award for Best Play. This year, Hall also received the Susan Smith Blackburn prize.

Tickets are now on sale by visiting Telecharge.com or by calling (212) 239-6200. The box office at the Jacobs Theatre (242 West 45th Street) will open for business Aug. 11.

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