The Mountaintop May Extend Broadway Run Again; Cinemacast Also Possible

By Andrew Gans
November 7, 2011

Katori Hall's Olivier Award-winning drama The Mountaintop, which recently extended its run at the Bernard B. Jacobs Theatre through Jan. 22, 2012, may play beyond that date.



Academy Award nominee and Golden Globe winner Angela Bassett portrays the mysterious Camae opposite the Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. of Academy Award nominee Samuel L. Jackson in the production, which is directed by Tony Award nominee Kenny Leon (Fences, A Raisin in the Sun).

A further extension would likely require the recasting of the role of King because Jackson has a pre-existing film commitment.

Rick Miramontez, a spokesperson for the new drama, told Playbill.com, "The producers hope to be able to keep this show going for as long as there are audiences lining up to see it, and they are exploring all of their options."

A production source also told Playbill.com that discussions are currently underway for a cinemacast of the play.

Taking place on April 3, 1968, The Mountaintop, press notes state, is a "gripping reimagining of events the night before the assassination of civil rights leader Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. After delivering his legendary 'I've Been to the Mountaintop' speech, an exhausted Dr. King retires to his room at the Lorraine Motel in Memphis while a storm rages outside. When a mysterious young woman delivers room service, King is forced to confront his past, as well as his legacy to his people."

To read an interview with co-stars Jackson and Bassett, click here.

Grammy Award-winning saxophonist and Tony Award nominee Branford Marsalis (Fences) composed original music for the production. The creative team also includes set and projection designer David Gallo, costume designer Constanza Romero, lighting designer Brian MacDevitt, sound designer Dan Moses Schreier and hair and wig designer Charles G. LaPointe.

The Mountaintop is produced on Broadway by Jean Doumanian, Sonia Friedman Productions, and Ambassador Theatre Group.

Angela Bassett
photo by Joan Marcus

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. Hall also received the Susan Smith Blackburn prize.

Bassett, recently seen on screen in the "Green Lantern," is perhaps best known for her portrayal of Tina Turner in the biopic "What’s Love Got to Do With It," earning the Golden Globe for Best Actress in a Drama, an NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Motion Picture and an Academy Award nomination for her performance.

Jackson appeared on Broadway in The Piano Lesson. An Academy Award nominee for "Pulp Fiction," his other screen credits include "The Sunset Limited," the "Iron Man" films, "Freedomland," "Snakes on a Plane," the "Star Wars" prequels, "The Incredibles," "Unbreakable," "The Negotiator," "Jackie Brown," "Eve's Bayou" and "Jurassic Park," among others.

Show times are Tuesday at 7 PM, Wednesday-Saturday at 8 PM, with matinees Wednesday and Saturday at 2 PM and Sunday at 3 PM.

Tickets are available at Telecharge.com. The Bernard B. Jacobs Theatre is located at 242 West 45th Street.