SAMUEL L. JACKSON AND ANGELA BASSETT STAR IN THE CIVIL RIGHTS PRODUCTION, "THE MOUNTAINTOP."
By: Lana K. Wilson-Combs
New Yorkers and really all fans of the theatre can support New York City's Outward Bound program by attending the Olivier Award-Winning play, "The Mountaintop" starring Samuel L. Jackson and Angela Bassett on Jan. 17 at 7 p.m. at the Bernard B. Jacobs Theater (242 West 45th Street, New York).
Outward Bound is a non-profit organization and the premier provider of experience-based outdoor leadership programs for teens, adults and professionals.
The special theatrical production of "The Mountaintop" which benefits Outward Bound, will also celebrate the birthday and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
"The Mountaintop" is a gripping theatrical experience that reimagines the night before the assassination of civil rights leader Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
N2Entertainment.net caught "The Mountaintop" while in New York this past October. Jackson and Bassett deliver stirring performances. It's a show you don't want to miss.
"The Mountaintop," takes place April 3, 1968 and captures the moments leading up to the night before the assassination of the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
After delivering his legendary "I've Been to the Mountaintop" speech, an exhausted Dr. King (Jackson) retires to his room at the Lorraine Motel in Memphis while a storm rages outside. When a mysterious young woman named Camae (Bassett) delivers room service, King is forced to confront his past, as well as his legacy to his people.
"The Mountaintop" was written by Katori Hall, and is directed by Kenny Leon.
The evening will also feature an exclusive post-show talk back with Hall. Ticket sales support NYC Outward Bound and its work with NYC's public schools. All seating is orchestra. Tickets are on sale until Jan. 6 and are $125 per ticket, $40.50 of which is a donation that will directly benefit students.
"The Mountaintop" received the 2010 Olivier Award for "Best Play" for its London premiere (starring David Harewood and Lorraine Burroughs).
The Broadway production was originally scheduled to run through January 15, 2012, but due to overwhelming demand it's been extended now through January 22, 2012.
For more details about the play, visit: www.themountaintopplay.com.
To purchase tickets, visit:
ABOUT ANGELA BASSETT:
Angela Bassett should have at least one Oscar, a Tony and an Emmy by now. The accomplished and underrated actress received an Oscar nomination for playing Tina Turner opposite Laurence Fishburne in "What's Love Got to Do with It."
She played Katherine Jackson in the critically acclaimed TV miniseries, "The Jacksons" and has appeared on Broadway in "Joe Turner's Come and Gone" and off-Broadway in "Macbeth" (opposite Alec Baldwin), "Henry IV Part I" and "Black Girl."
Bassett and Fishburne recently co-starred in "Fences" at the Pasadena Playhouse, and she appeared opposite her actor husband, Courtney B. Vance, in the Guthrie Theatre's premiere of a stage adaptation of "His Girl Friday" by John Guare.
On the big screen, Bassett starred in the superhero movie "Green Lantern" and was featured in the recent hit "Jumping the Broom." Her many movie credits include: "Boys N the Hood," "Waiting to Exhale," "How Stella Got Her Groove Back," "Ruby's Bucket of Blood," "Music of the Heart" and "Notorious."
ABOUT SAMUEL L. JACKSON
It's only fitting that Samuel L. Jackson is starring in the riveting Civil Rights theatrical production, "The Mountaintop."
After the 1968 assassination of the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., Jackson actually served as an usher at Dr. King's funeral.
That emotional moment spurred Jackson to further Dr. King's call for justice even while a student at Morehouse College where he shook things up and demanded the board of trustees reform their school curriculum and policies.
He paid a price for his actions but also saw effective change come from it. Jackson also earned a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Drama from Morehouse in 1972.
Jackson's love of the stage also led him to the big screen. He starred in movies such as "Goodfellas," "Jungle Fever" and "Jurassic Park."
In 1994 Jackson landed the role as Jules Winnfield in Quentin Tarantino's movie "Pulp Fiction" which was met with critical acclaim and catapulted his career.
From "Jackie Brown," "The Incredibles," "Black Snake Moan," "Shaft," "Snakes on a Plane," to the "Star Wars" prequel trilogy, "A Time to Kill," "Kill Bill Vol. 2," "Shaft" "Iron Man 1&2," "Thor" and "Inglourious Basterds," Jackson's many roles have made him one of the highest grossing actors at the box office and earned him a spot alongside other Tinsel town royalty on Hollywood's Walk of Fame.
OTHER THEATRE NEWS:
BROADWAY TURNS TO HOLLYWOOD FOR INSPIRATION
As Broadway theater experiences unprecedented success with its highest-grossing year of $1.1 billion in ticket sales and the US film box office dips by up to 5 percent, according to The Wrap, it's no wonder that Hollywood is turning its films into musicals.
Stage-to-screen productions have been common for decades as a way to reach a broader audience. In 2011, Tony winners "God of Carnage" and "War Horse" as well as "Farragut North" (known as "Ides of March" on film) became films.
Now the big screen is heading to the small stage. The trend for screen-to-stage productions is growing in popularity, with theatrical runs lasting years, not weeks.
"The Lion King" moved to Broadway in 1997 and the musical is still strong. Elton John, who created the music, also brought the indie dance film "Billy Elliot" to the live stage.
This phenomenon also happens with British films and London's West End. "Ghost the Musical," based on the 1990 film with Whoopi Goldberg, Patrick Swayze and Demi Moore, played the Piccadilly Theatre and will open at the Lunt-Fontaine on April 23 in New York City.
Other films that are currently on the Broadway stage include "Priscilla: Queen of the Desert," "Sister Act" and "Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark," which despite difficulties getting off the ground is close to reaching its massive budget of $75 million.
Broadway's upcoming winter season will premiere "Once" based on the 2006 film about a busker starring The Frames' Glen Hansard and Marketa Irglova, who won the Oscar for Best Song for "Falling Slowly."
Tom Stoppard is reportedly in talks to write a stage adaptation of his Oscar-winning 1998 screenplay for "Shakespeare in Love."
Mike Myers is working on an "Austin Powers" musical, an origin story and prequel to the films with the songs of Burt Bacharach and Elvis Costello, per The Hollywood Reporter.
Sylvester Stallone's famed boxing film franchise will debut as "Rocky: The Musical" on the stage in Hamburg, Germany, in November 2012.
Other films rumored to be converted to the stage include: "Cinema Paradiso," "Chocolat," "Finding Neverland," "The Notebook," and Tim Burton's "Big Fish."
Stanley Kubrick's 1971 film "A Clockwork Orange" will hit the boards next year at England's Royal Northern College of Music to celebrate the 50th anniversary of Anthony Burgess's novel.
Editor's Note: Some information in this report obtained from Broadway Playbill.com press releases.