The play by Katori Hall follows Martin Luther King, Jr. over a single night in the Memphis motel.
In honor of Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, look back at Katori Hall’s Olivier-winning play The Mountaintop, which opened on Broadway in 2011 starring Samuel L. Jackson and Angela Bassett.
The Mountaintop began performances on September 22, 2011, at the Bernard B. Jacobs Theatre and opened on October 13 that year. Shortly before closing its limited run January 22, 2012, the production recouped its initial investment.
The two-hander re-imagines the events on the night before The Reverend Doctor Martin Luther King, Jr.’s assassination in Memphis, following the delivery of his memorable “I’ve Been to the Mountaintop” speech. Jackson played the Reverend Dr. while Bassett played Camae, a mysterious maid who knocks on his door.
Directed by Kenny Leon, the production featured original music by Grammy-winning saxophonist and Tony nominee Branford Marsalis (Fences). The creative team also included set and projection designer David Gallo, costume designer Constanza Romero, lighting designer Brian MacDevitt, sound designer Dan Moses Schreier and hair and wig designer Charles G. LaPointe.
Since its Broadway debut, the show has gone on to play in several large regional houses, including an 2013 Alley Theatre staging featuring 2020 Tony nominee Joaquina Kalukango. Check out a free audio play version from L.A. Theatreworks here.
Relive moments from opening night below.