On January 16th, we recognize of one of the greatest men who led our nation. Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. was a man of peace; a man who had dreams of equality. King has been celebrated through monuments, books, and plays and now in a Broadway production.
People waited in line as early as 7 a.m. this past Saturday to purchase tickets. They shared their interest in the production and reflected on what Dr. King’s leadership meant to them.
Khrehaan Ebah of Philadelphia said, “I heard really good reviews about it. He was someone who was willing to beat the odds.”
“He was definitely one of my heroic figures and the more I learn about Dr. King the more I really appreciate him,” said Chicagoan Edward Rule.
Katori Hall’s critcally acclaimed Broadway play The Mountaintop, now playing at the Bernard B. Jacobs Theater, depicts a fictional encounter between Dr. King and a Lorraine Motel housekeeper the night before his 1968 assassination in Memphis, Tennessee. The play stars Oscar-nominated actors Samuel L. Jackson, portraying King, and Angela Bassett, as housekeeper Camae. Director Kenny Leon's production enables the audience to feel the connection between Dr. King and Camae as they forge a memorable relationship.
Set the night before Dr. King’s assassination at the Lorraine Hotel in Memphis, Tennessee, Camae and Dr. King bond over the movement of their people, their hopes and dreams and later their strengths and weaknesses as human beings.
Jackson, incorporating the Southern lilt and charm that was so clearly King, captivates his audience as King moved his people. Bassett delves into her character also, permitting the audience to fall in love with her quirkiness and sense of humor. With laughs and tears, Leon thoroughly evokes these two characters' humanity; perhaps the most poignant message of all.
Describing The Mountaintop as unique is an understatement. Bassett and Jackson’s chemistry is exhilarating, the comic relief refreshing, the lessons stirring and the visuals stunning. The most unforgettable moment of the play allows the audience to realize that change is ever-present.
“Faith is taking the first step even when you don’t see the whole staircase.” - Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.