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  Play Details

The Mountaintop

Court Theatre
5535 S. Ellis Avenue Chicago

On the eve of his assassination, a weary Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. returns to his lonely hotel room in Memphis. Restless, he begins to work on his next speech when he's suddenly interrupted by the arrival of a young hotel maid named Camae. The two strike up an unlikely conversation and as the hour grows late and Dr. King's fate presses closer, Camae reveals that she is more than she appears. The Mountaintop offers a beautiful and powerful meditation on mortality, destiny, and the liminal space where the material meets the divine. Resident Artist Ron OJ Parson will direct this revelatory new portrayal of Dr. King.

Thru - Oct 13, 2013

Wednesdays: 7:30pm
Thursdays: 7:30pm
Fridays: 8:00pm
Saturdays: 3:00pm & 8:00pm
Sundays: 2:30pm & 7:30pm



Price: $35-$65

Show Type: Drama

Box Office: 773-753-4472

Running Time: 1hr, 30mins

www.courttheatre.org


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Court Theatre Seating Chart


  The Mountaintop Reviews

Chicago Tribune - Recommended

"...Many would fear playing King, and Anderson understandably takes his time to fire up. But once Beasley, a hugely talented newcomer who is remarkable here, shows up with nourishment, the scenes really crackle with energy and sexual tension. Parson amps up the sound effects, moves the action at a rapid pace, plays around fearlessly with Davis' hypertheatrical design (Mike Tutaj's projections complete the picture), and generally embraces all the risks that this audacious play demands."
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Chris Jones


Chicago Sun Times - Highly Recommended

"...Under the winning direction of Ron OJ Parson (who is on a tear this season, with a blistering revival of "A Raisin in the Sun" now at TimeLine Theatre, and "Detroit '67" opening at Northlight in November), the two actors create just the right chemistry. Anderson, whose body type neatly resembles King's, never succumbs to imitation, and he sustains the sense of panic and unease of a man clearly haunted by death threats. Beasley (who has worked often at both the Black Ensemble Theatre and the eta Creative Arts Foundation) is sensational - at once fierce, funny and unpredictable."
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Hedy Weiss


Chicago Reader - Highly Recommended

"...The Mountaintop, surprisingly, is a comedy, and in the hands of Ron OJ Parson, a good one. David Alan Anderson portrays King with the quick wit and high competence that Hall's erratic script demands. As the mercurial maid Camae, who keeps vigil with King, Lisa Beasley proves a captivating foil."
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Keith Griffith


NewCity Chicago - Recommended

"...It's a crafty, magical work that manages to puncture the King myth without deflating it. Hall's King is "just a man," with holes in his socks and holes in his immortal character: he not only smokes, he drinks, he swears, he flirts. But beyond his only-human transgressions, he struggles with his growing sense of doom, and his concern about the future of his life's work. Here, his final speech was not just foreshadowing, it is prophesy, and his last night on earth, as Hall imagines it, moves from the most base of earthly concerns into another realm entirely."
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Brian Hieggelke


Time Out Chicago - Somewhat Recommended

"...But given everything we’ve learned about King’s flaws in the decades since his death, none of these really proves revealing. In her admirably irreverent desire to bring King down from the pedestal, Hall goes so far as to diminish the man’s great intellect by veering into silly sitcom territory. And the play’s culmination, in which King’s wish to glimpse the future is answered with Tutaj’s skillful video collage accompanying Camae rattling off cultural touchstones of the last 45 years in a metered singsong that sounds like an update to “We Didn’t Start the Fire,” feels more reductive than revelatory. Hall's scenario is amiable enough, but when spending 90 fraught minutes in a tangible space with one of the most consequential figures in American history, amiable is a low peak."
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Kris Vire


Chicago On the Aisle - Highly Recommended

"...On his last night on earth, exhausted from his civil rights campaign, the threat of assassination constantly before him, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., perhaps hinted at a premonition of his own end when he declared that he had “been to the mountaintop” and “seen the Promised Land.” Playwright Katori Hall spins that intimation into luminous fantasy in “The Mountaintop,” a transmigrational arabesque for two players that now irradiates the stage at Court Theatre."
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Lawrence B. Johnson


Splash Magazine - Recommended

"... The last ten minutes are where this show really hits home. Despite the coming assassination, Hall’s script remarkably does not leave us on a note of despair. On the contrary, it ends on a hopeful and encouraging note. King gets a glimpse of his legacy with future generations, the movement that will go on without him. That legacy is what’s at the heart of this show."
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Justin LeClaire


ChicagoCritic - Recommended

"...While this show is lively, funny, and personalizes Dr. King unlike most portraits of the Civil Rights Giant,  it becomes a tribute with an amazing video ( by Mike Tutaj) of what occurs after King’s death in 1968. This doesn’t serve the play well as we know the greatness of Dr. King,  I only wish we could see more of King the man. David Alan Anderson was outstanding as Dr. King; Lisa Beasley (who spoke too fast early on) settled in and gave a spunky and heartwarming performance. This fantasy did much to present the personal side of the legendary leader. I only wish it went more into his personal life."
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Tom Williams


Chicago Theatre Review - Highly Recommended

"..."The Mountaintop" is a play that should add to your wish list. This Laurence Olivier Best New Play winner will challenge your perception of hero, and move you to places you may not have been expecting. It may not be the best written of plays, but its messages are fast and furious."

Lazlo Collins


   This show has been Jeff Recommended*

*The designation of "Jeff Recommended" is given to a production when at least ONE ELEMENT of the show was deemed outstanding by the opening night judges of The Joseph Jefferson Awards Committee. The entire production is then eligible for nomination for awards at the end of the season.
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