BY KATORI HALL
DIRECTED BY GREGG T. DANIEL
a masterpiece reaching historic heights
April 3, 1968. Memphis. The Lorraine Motel. Room 306. Tomorrow, it will become the scene of one of our nation’s greatest losses. But tonight, it is just another stopover motel for Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Full of vivid theatricality, poetic language, and surprising twists, this drama takes us to the summit of a man’s historic life and offers a stunning new view of his dream for our nation.
“...daring, rousing and provocative.”– Entertainment Weekly
This January 15, Martin Luther King Jr. would have turned 90 - had he lived.
And in time for Martin Luther King Jr. Day and African American History month, comes a play that starts with a historical moment - the night before King was assassinated - and uses that moment as a jumping off place for a very theatrical exploration of what King has meant to the flow of American history since 1968.
Katori Hall’s The Mountaintop, which won the Olivier Award for Best New Play in 2010, is directed by Gregg T. Daniel, who is one of the busiest and most notable theatre directors working today in Los Angeles, and stars Gilbert Glenn Brown and Carolyn Ratteray, plays the Garry Marshall Theatre as the opening offering of their 2019 season.
Daniel just staged a lauded A Raisin in the Sun at A Noise Within and was the director of Her Portmanteau at Boston Court Pasadena. Both Brown and Ratteray have extensive theatre resumes, along with many appearances on TV. Brown has portrayed MLK before in the national tour of The Mountaintop, and appears in the upcoming film The Best of Enemies with Taraji P. Henson and Sam Rockwell. Ratteray is known to audiences for her appearances in The Cake at the Geffen and Father Comes Home from the Wars at the Mark Taper Forum, and her many roles with A Noise Within and Antaeus Theatre Company.
Marshall Artistic Director Dimitri Toscas says, “The Mountaintop is full of vivid theatricality, poetic language, and surprising twists. This is a drama full of comedy and magic realism that takes us to the summit of a man’s historic life and offers a stunning new view of his dream for our nation.”
Linda Winer in Newsday said The Mountaintop “crackles with theatricality and a humanity more moving than sainthood.”
Marilyn Stasio said in Variety, “Set in Memphis on the eve of his assassination, this soul-stirring drama finds King confiding his doubts, fears and morbid premonitions to a sassy motel maid [named Camae] — a deceptively trite situation that Hall transforms into an emotionally powerful and theatrically stunning moment of truth."
Playwright Katori Hall
Katori Hall is a playwright and performer hailing from Memphis, Tennessee. Her award-winning play HOODOO LOVE premiered at the Cherry Lane Theatre in 2007. It was developed under Lynn Nottage as part of the theatre’s 2006 Mentor Project. HOODOO LOVE received three AUDELCO nominations (Best Actress, Best Supporting Actress, August Wilson Playwright Award). Her other plays include: REMEMBRANCE, HURT VILLAGE, SATURDAY NIGHT/SUNDAY MORNING, THE MOUNTAINTOP, ON THE CHITLIN’ CIRCUIT, and FREEDOM TRAIN (KCACTF ten minute play national finalist). Her work has been developed and presented at the following venues: the American Repertory Theatre, Kennedy Center, Cherry Lane Theatre, Classical Theatre of Harlem, Schomburg Center, BRICLab, Women’s Project, World Financial Center, Lark Play Development Center, New Professional Theatre, The O’Neill, the Juilliard School, Stanford University, and Columbia University. She is the recipient of numerous awards, including the Lecompte du Nouy Prize, North Manhattan Arts Alliance Fellowship, New York State Council on the Arts Commission Grant, New Professional Theatre’s Writers’ Festival award, Fellowship of Southern Writers Bryan Family Award in Drama, New York Foundation of the Arts Fellowship in Playwriting and Screenwriting, Royal Court Theatre Residency, and the Lorraine Hansberry Playwriting Award. She has also been a Kennedy Center Playwriting Fellow. As an actor, her credits include “Law & Order: SVU,” THE PRESIDENT’S PUPPETS (The Public), GROWING UP A SLAVE (American Place Theatre), INCIDENTS IN THE LIFE OF A SLAVE GIRL (American Place Theatre), the world premiere of AMERIKA (Theatre de la Jeune Lune/American Repertory Theatre), SPRING AWAKENING (Moscow Art Theatre School), AIN’T SUPPOSED TO DIE A NATURAL DEATH (Classical Theatre of Harlem), SCHOOLED (WOW Café Theatre), and BLACK GIRL (Sande Shurin Theatre). As a journalist, her work has been published in "The Boston Globe," "Essence," "Newsweek," and "The Commercial Appeal." She graduated from Columbia University in 2003 with a major in African-American Studies and Creative Writing. She was awarded top departmental honors from the university’s Institute for Research in African-American Studies (IRAAS). In 2005, she graduated from the American Repertory Theatre Institute for Advanced Theatre Training at Harvard University, receiving a Master of Fine Arts in Acting. She is now a student in the Juilliard School’s Lila Acheson Wallace American Playwrights Program. She is a proud member of the Women’s Project Playwrights’ Lab, the Lark Playwrights’ Workshop, and the Dramatists Guild. www.katorihall.com
**** For information on Los Angeles theatre, tickets to theatre in North Hollywood's NoHo Arts District, theatre reviews, the NoHo Event Calendar, restaurants, news and local businesses in NoHo, or anything and everything about the NoHo Arts Community, bookmark nohoartsdistrict.com. Follow us on Twitter @OfficialNoHo. On Instagram @NoHoArtsDistrict and Facebook @NoHoArtsDistrict.