April 14, 2011, 6:00 pm
‘The Mountaintop’ Will Come to Broadway, With Jackson but Without BerryBy DAVE ITZKOFF
“The Mountaintop,” Katori Hall’s play about the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., will make it to Broadway this fall, but with only one of the two high-profile actors who were expected to appear in it. Producers for the play said on Thursday that Samuel L. Jackson, the Academy Award-nominated star of “Pulp Fiction,” will portray Dr. King in the production, which will be presented at the Bernard B. Jacobs Theater, with previews beginning Sept. 22 and opening Oct. 13; Kenny Leon, a Tony Award nominee for last year’s revival of “Fences,” will direct. Halle Berry, who was supposed to play Camae, a hotel maid at the Lorraine Motel in Memphis in Ms. Hall’s imagined account of the night before Dr. King’s assassination, will not be participating in the production as had been anticipated. In a statement, producers said “Ms. Berry would not be appearing in the role due to child custody issues,” and that an actor for the role “will be announced shortly.” “The Mountaintop,” which made its debut in London in 2009, won Ms. Hall the Olivier Award for best new play last year. The play is produced by Jean Doumanian Productions, Sonia Friedman Productions, Ambassador Theater Group, Jerry Frankel, Ted Snowdon, Bob Bartner and Tom Wirtshafter.