Angela Bassett’s only experience working with Samuel L. Jackson was in the early 1980s when she was an understudy, and he a star, in a Negro Ensemble Company production of “Colored People’s Time,” a play of vignettes set between the Civil War and the Montgomery bus boycott. This fall the two actors will reunite on Broadway — as co-stars — for another play inspired by history, Katori Hall’s drama “The Mountaintop,” about Dr. Martin Luther King on the night before his assassination.

Mr. Jackson has been attached to play King for some time; Halle Berry was initially lined up for the other role, a maid at the Lorraine Motel named Camae, but dropped out because of her child custody battle.

Ms. Bassett, a film and television actress who was nominated for an Academy Award playing Tina Turner in “What’s Love Got to Do With It,” will now be Camae in the production, which Kenny Leon is directing. Preview performances are set to begin at the Bernard B. Jacobs Theater on Sept. 22, with opening night on Oct. 13.

In a telephone interview on Tuesday, Ms. Bassett said she had not been looking to do a play, but “The Mountaintop” appealed to her as “a new work by an exciting, fresh voice in the theater.”

Ms. Bassett, who was on Broadway in 1988 in August Wilson’s “Joe Turner’s Come and Gone,” added, “My 5-year-old twins are at the age where they have a sense of what people do, and they think I just appear in posters. I’m excited for them to see me satisfied and working.”

Written on June 23rd, 2011 , Media
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