As Jubilee Theatre looks to commemorate Black History Month, it could not have chosen a more iconic contemporary figure than the life of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. to celebrate with a production of The Mountaintop, which probingly examines the final night in the storied life of the civil rights leader.
A winner of the Olivier Award for Best New Play, The Mountaintop, written by Katori Hall, is the kind of provocative re-casting of Dr. King’s last night that, nevertheless, rings with such verisimilitude that it already seems forged in the historical record. Where fact and fiction intertwine is that the play, like the tragic final night of Dr. King’s real life, finds him at the Lorraine Motel. Where fiction takes over is that Dr. King confronts a surprise visitor who forces the usually determined and undeterred King to square off against questions of his very humanity, and the overarching fate of the country.
With those dual questions, The Mountaintop is simultaneously a thoroughly spiritual exploration of a heroic, if occasionally all-to-humanly flawed, man, in addition to a laying bare of the soul of an entire nation.
The Mountaintop, which has been praised by everyone from Variety to Entertainment Weekly as “daring” and “soul stirring” will have its North Texas premiere at The Jubilee after successful runs on the most prestigious stages of London and Broadway. Note that further distinguishing this Jubilee Theatre production will be its offering of a 10-minute Behind the Scene examination of Dr. King’s legacy and life, ten minutes before each performance.
Details: The Mountaintop, presented by Jubilee Theatre. Through March 2 at the Jubilee Theatre, 506 Main Street, Fort Worth. Performances: 8 p.m., Thursday-Saturday; 3 p.m., Saturday-Sunday. Tickets: $18-$25. More information: 817-338-4411; www.jubileetheatre.org.