Angela Bassett Will Climb Broadway’s Mountaintop With Sam Jackson
21 Jun 2011
Producers Jean Doumanian and Sonia Friedman announced June 21 that 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.
Bassett, who can currently be seen on screen in the “Green Lantern” opposite Ryan Reynolds, Peter Sarsgaard and Tim Robbins, 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.
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.
In a joint statement Doumanian and Friedman said, “We are thrilled that casting for The Mountaintop is complete and that we will be presenting Angela Bassett on Broadway with Samuel L. Jackson. These two remarkable actors have excited audiences around the world for many years, and bringing them together in this extraordinary new play on Broadway promises to be a major highlight of the season. The Mountaintop is an ambitious work of fiction that is powerful, heartbreaking, humorous and exhilarating. We are ecstatic to be bringing Katori Hall’s remarkable, Olivier-winning work to New York, and to present a singular new American voice to Broadway audiences.”
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 Telecharge.com or by calling (212) 239-6200, and beginning Aug. 11 at the Bernard B. Jacobs Theatre (242 West 45th Street).