Halle Berry Is No Longer Going To “The Mountaintop” On Broadway; But Samuel L. Jackson Is
First announced for a Broadway run last spring, Katori Hall’s award-winning play, The Mountaintop, imagines a meeting between an enigmatic hotel maid and Martin Luther King Jr, the night before his assassination.
The play premiered in London in 2009 to much critical acclaim, selling out almost throughout its run. British actors David Harewood and Lorraine Burroughs assumed the starring roles, and both earned nominations for their performances.
It’s making its move to Broadway, with a fall 2011 debut planned, at the Bernard B. Jacobs Theater, with previews beginning September 22 and an opening on October 13; Tony Award nominee Kenny Leon, who directed Denzel Washington and Viola Davis in last year’s revival of August Wilson’s Fences, will direct The Mountaintop.
Samuel L Jackson was to play Martin Luther King Jr., and it appears he’s still very much attached to the part. However, this afternoon brings word from the producers of the play that Halle Berry, who was supposed to play Camae, the hotel maid at the Lorraine Motel in Memphis, will no longer be involved in the production – a role that would have been her Broadway debut.
Why? Well… “Ms. Berry would not be appearing in the role due to child-custody issues,” the producers said in a released statement.
I thought that was mostly handled at this point… not that I’m staying abreast of all the tabloid headlines on the matter.
Regardless, she’s out, which means a search for her replacement is underway! I’m guessing the producers will go for another high-profile Hollywood actress for that part. Who exactly is anyone’s guess. There are a few to choose from.
The play’s longer synopsis reads: “Taking place on April 3, 1968, The Mountaintop is a gripping reimagining of events the night before the assassination of civil rights leader 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.”
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