Branford Marsalis Will Compose Music for Broadway's Mountaintop

News   Branford Marsalis Will Compose Music for Broadway's Mountaintop
Grammy Award-winning saxophonist and Tony Award nominee Branford Marsalis (Fences) has joined the creative team as composer of original music for the upcoming Broadway premiere of the new play The Mountaintop.

Branford Marsalis
Branford Marsalis

In a joint statement, producers Jean Doumanian and Sonia Friedman said, "Branford Marsalis is a singular voice in music today. We are thrilled knowing that he will enrich this very special play with what promises to be an extraordinary contribution."

As previously reported, Academy Award nominee and Golden Globe winner Angela Bassett will portray Camae opposite the Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. of Academy Award nominee Samuel L. Jackson in the Broadway debut of The Mountaintop.

Katori Hall's Olivier Award-winning drama, which will be directed by Tony Award nominee Kenny Leon (Fences, A Raisin in the Sun), will begin performances Sept. 22 at the Bernard B. Jacobs Theatre, with an official opening Oct. 13.

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."

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

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

Tickets are now available at or by calling (212) 239-6200, and beginning Aug. 11 at the Bernard B. Jacobs Theatre (242 West 45th Street).

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