RIALTO CHATTER: Halle Berry Confirmed for MOUNTAINTOP
Reported back in March on BroadwayWorld.com was the news that The Mountaintop was headed to Broadway this fall, directed by Kenny Leon.
In his New York Post column today, Michael Riedel is confirming that Halle Berry has been confirmed to join Samuel L. Jackson in The Mountaintop on Broadway. Jackson has been attached to the project since at least May when he participated in a reading of the Katori Hall piece.
Berry will be making her Broadway debut in the show as the "outerworldly" hotel maid.
To read his full report in the New York Post, click here.
American playwright Katori Hall's The Mountaintop was named Best Play at the 2010 Olivier Awards in London. Marking the first time a female African American playwright ha received the honor in the Olivier Awards' 34-year history, Ms. Hall's play was nominated alongside such new works as Jerusalem, Enron and Red.
Jean Doumanian Productions (August: Osage County, Our Town, Superior Donuts, When The Rain Stops Falling), in partnership with Sonia Friedman Productions (The Norman Conquests, The Seagull, Boeing-Boeing, La Cage aux Folles and Rock 'n' Roll) presented the award-winning London premiere, and is on track to mount an all-new Broadway production of the play in its American Premiere, directed by Kenny Leon, this Fall for the upcoming 2010-11 Season.
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 featured powerful performances by David Harewood as Martin Luther King, Jr., and Lorraine Burroughs as the mysterious Camae, under the direction of James Dacre. (The Mountaintop also received two Evening Standard Awards Nominations for Most Promising Playwright and Best Actor.)
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.
Katori Hall, an American actress and playwright, grew up in Memphis and is a child of the post-civil rights era. She is a recent graduate from the Juilliard School playwriting program and was the recent recipient of William Inge Theatre Festival's 2010 Otis Guernsey New Voices in the American Theatre Award. She is an alumnus of both Harvard and Columbia Universities.
The Broadway cast of The Mountaintop, and additional news, will be announced shortly.
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Photo Credit: (B) Peter James Zielinski