Controversial MLK play opens ahead of memorial dedication
October 14th, 2011
06:06 PM ET

Controversial MLK play opens ahead of memorial dedication

The Martin Luther King Jr. National Memorial will be dedicated Sunday in Washington, D.C.

But Thursday night in New York City saw the opening of a play which portrays the civil rights leader in a different light.

"The Mountaintop" stars Samuel L. Jackson and Angela Bassett in a production which takes a fictitious look at the night before King was killed. The play offers up a "behind-closed-doors" look at the leader during a meeting with a mysterious woman at the Lorraine Motel in Memphis.

According to, the reviews have been mixed.

"One writer called it 'as audacious as it is inventive,' while a differing colleague damned it as 'an awkward, mawkish blend of docudrama, surreal whimsy and pandering black-history triumphalism,'" the site reported.

The Philadelphia Inquirer gave it higher marks, saying "‘The Mountaintop’ by Katori Hall exceeds all expectations: theatrically, emotionally and politically."

The play won the the Olivier Award in London for Best New Play of 2010.

soundoff (24 Responses)
  1. penny

    I habz a dream cuz, dat one day awl duh doo doo from acrossd duh land, frub ebree hill and hamlut will frow from dee white womenz and into my mouf. LAWD i b hawgree. Who gotz duh mall licka???

    October 17, 2011 at 10:21 am | Report abuse |
  2. Jupiter

    He was not a perfect person, but who is. He did have a positive influence as for the rest well...We would all hope the some of our good deeds out weighs the sum of the bad. I think his did...

    October 17, 2011 at 9:20 am | Report abuse |
  3. Tippie

    @saturn7 who will be talking about you in 40 years?

    October 16, 2011 at 4:45 pm | Report abuse |
  4. saturn7

    he was a big overrated fraud and a hypocrite who couldn't even write his own dissertation.

    October 16, 2011 at 2:27 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Sarah21

    I agree have you seen the interview?? I've seen it posted at CELEBUR.COM the video is still up i think.

    October 16, 2011 at 2:26 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Silver Fox

    Sam Jackson can do no wrong!

    October 16, 2011 at 2:19 pm | Report abuse |
  7. rude

    A great civil rights leader who paid with his life.

    October 16, 2011 at 1:29 pm | Report abuse |
    • nibbles

      Much like the RAP industry who rips off everyone, all MLK did was rip-off Ghandi. NO more NO less.

      October 17, 2011 at 10:19 am | Report abuse |
  8. unclebo

    I agree with Paul. MLK was a great civil rights leader but a hypocritical religious leader. I remember the day he was killed. He was traveling and living with a white woman in a motel while he traveled. His wife was left at home.

    October 16, 2011 at 1:15 pm | Report abuse |
  9. G.T.O.

    @cindy you know nothing about it.

    October 16, 2011 at 10:02 am | Report abuse |
  10. GailS

    I love the premise and look forward to seeing it.

    October 16, 2011 at 9:55 am | Report abuse |
  11. Paul

    Jack and Jackie Kennedy, and I'm sure, Lyndon Johnson knew the real Martin Luther King. The one in those locked up FBI files. I personally believe MLK was a great civil rights leader but a questionable religious leader.

    October 16, 2011 at 9:35 am | Report abuse |
  12. @gara56

    Interesting how every time there some event involving blacks–there's a major controversy about something. Then society either bends over or puts their heads in the ground so they don't get tagged a racist. Gotta love it.

    October 16, 2011 at 9:17 am | Report abuse |
  13. cindy

    What would MLK have said about the Crown Heights pogrom and the pogrom against Koreans in LA? Blacks still justify these hate crimes. They have learned nothing from their own suffering.

    October 16, 2011 at 6:50 am | Report abuse |
    • CT

      But, unlike trash such as yourself, they have learned how to spell.

      October 16, 2011 at 10:00 am | Report abuse |
    • @CT

      Evidently you need to expand your vocabulary

      October 16, 2011 at 12:06 pm | Report abuse |
    • Jody

      Pogrom is a Russian word that is akin to systematic acts of violence. So I would say, you both need to expand YOUR vocabulary.

      October 16, 2011 at 3:24 pm | Report abuse |
  14. No i can't stop yelling...

    ...cause that's how I talk!!!

    October 15, 2011 at 11:19 am | Report abuse |
  15. Abbo Riginy

    so maybe Coretta had him iced for cheating on her? just sayin...

    October 15, 2011 at 12:27 am | Report abuse |
  16. Evel Knievel

    I bet there aren't any swimming scenes in this movie.

    October 14, 2011 at 8:36 pm | Report abuse |
  17. @portalpunk

    Yay portalpunk !

    October 14, 2011 at 8:08 pm | Report abuse |
    • P Diddiot

      Why come ya boi p didiot not in duh daym movuh. *POOT* <-for you MLK, PEACE!!

      October 17, 2011 at 6:48 am | Report abuse |
  18. portalpunk


    October 14, 2011 at 6:19 pm | Report abuse |

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