Halle Berry exits Broadway's 'The Mountaintop,' but Samuel L. Jackson is still in
One of the most anticipated plays coming to Broadway this year, "The Mountaintop" has been generating buzz since it opened in London two years ago and scored an upset at the Olivier Awards, winning the trophy for best play. Written by Katori Hall, the drama speculates on the events of the night before the assassination of the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. in 1968.
Halle Berry had been rumored for the role of Camae, a maid with ambiguous intentions who works at the Lorraine Motel, where King was assassinated while in Memphis. But producers announced Thursday that Berry won't be in the Broadway production due to her child custody battle.
Producers confirmed that Samuel L. Jackson will star as King when the play officially opens at the Bernard B. Jacobs Theatre on Oct. 13. Kenny Leon will direct the play, with the casting of the maid to be announced at a later date.
The play follows King after he delivers his "I've Been to the Mountaintop" speech and retires to his motel room. In London, the play was produced at the Trafalgar Studios 1, and starred David Harewood and Lorraine Burroughs.
In addition to her Olivier Award, Hall won the Susan Smith Blackburn Prize recognizing female playwrights.
-- David Ng
Photo: Samuel L. Jackson. Credit: Alberto E. Rodriguez / Getty Images for CDG
Photo (bottom): Martin Luther King Jr., with Hosea L. Williams, Jesse Jackson and Ralph Abernathy in 1968 at the Lorraine Motel in Memphis. Credit: Associated Press