BTW brings a modern-day masterpiece to the Segal. Re-imagining MLK Jr.’s last night alive
The Black Theatre Workshop (BTW) takes it to another level with their presentation of Olivier Award-winning “The Mountaintop” as it launches its 47th season on October 14 at the Segal Centre.
The play by acclaimed playwright Katori Hall is a reimagining of the last night of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr’s life.
The play derived its name from the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. speech “I have been to the Mountaintop” delivered on April 3, 1968, that fateful day before he was assassinated.
And it brings to the stage the recently married husband and wife duo, Tristan D. Lalla and Letitia Brookes, as Dr. King and Camae, the mysterious figure that enters his life.
Both are power-pack actors who have distinguished themselves on stage and screen with dozens of plays and television shows and movies to their credit.
Lalla, who was recently nominated for a Montreal English Theatre Award, has appeared in more than 70 plays, musicals and staged readings all across Canada, including some memorable ones, Angélique, The Adventures of a Black Girl in Search of God and Sal Capone. He also appeared in several movies and TV shows, such as Quantico, How She Move and Red 2.
Brookes, who appeared in Sal Capone and Twelfth Night among many other plays also has a bunch of film and TV credits on her resume, including appearances in The Gift, Zoe and Jack Ryan.
Director Ahdri Zhina Mandiela is Jamaican-born and based in Toronto. She is the founder and past artistic director of “b current Performing Arts” and is well known for her performances as a poet and theatre director.
Mountaintop is written by Katori Hall from Memphis, a graduate of Columbia University. She became the first Black woman in history to win the Lawrence Olivier Award for Best New Play in March 2010. The Mountaintop opened on Broadway in September 2011, starring Samuel L. Jackson as Martin Luther King and Angela Bassett, as the maid.
The play also boasts award-winning Set and Costume designer Eo Sharp and 4-time META nominee David Perreault Ninacs on Lighting Design and META winner Rob Denton on Sound Design.
The Mountaintop runs from Oct. 14-29 at the Segal Centre, 5170 Cote St. Catherine. Tickets at the segalcentre.org or 514 739-7944.