Samuel L. Jackson Will Climb Broadway's Mountaintop Without Halle Barry

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14 Apr 2011

Samuel L. Jackson
Samuel L. Jackson

Samuel L. Jackson will make his Broadway debut this fall portraying the late Dr. Martin Luther King in Katori Hall's Olivier Award-winning The Mountaintop, directed by Tony Award nominee Kenny Leon (Fences, A Raisin in the Sun).

Performances will begin Sept. 22 at the Bernard B. Jacobs Theatre (242 West 45th Street) with an official opening Oct. 13.

Although it had been rumored that Halle Berry would also star in the production, she will be unable to due to "child custody issues," according to a press statement. The role of Camae, a mysterious maid at the Lorraine Motel, will be announced shortly.

Producers are Jean Doumanian Productions, Sonia Friedman Productions, Ambassador Theatre Group, Jerry Frankel, Ted Snowdon, Bob Bartner, and Tom Wirtshafter.

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 for The Mountaintop will go on sale at a later date.