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Milwaukee's Daily Magazine for Thursday, April 17, 2014

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The Rep performs "The Mountaintop" starting Sept. 26.
The Rep performs "The Mountaintop" starting Sept. 26.

Coming soon: "The Mountaintop"

The life and death of Martin Luther King Jr. has provided fodder for books, television, plays and movies, and the fascination with this icon never seems to wane.

The Milwaukee Rep joins the list Sept. 26 when the theater mounts a production of "The Mountaintop," an appealing and offbeat play about the civil rights hero.

The play takes place on the eve of King's assassination in Memphis. He's in a hotel room after delivering a huge speech when a feisty, young hotel maid pushes King into a discussion that confronts some of his doubts and fears.

The play, written by Katori Hall, will be directed by Rep Artistic Associate May Adrales who directed "Yellowman" last year.

"'The Mountaintop' isn't a biography, per se, but rather a very smart, very funny, very moving and very respectful exploration of the ideas that were occupying Dr. King's mind on the night prior to his death," says Artistic Director Mark Clements. "The maid character is essential to this innately theatrical play, but impossible to describe without giving away a clever twist that the audience will absolutely lap up!"

A review of the New York production said:

"Playwright Katori Hall takes us into the room to reveal what it might have been like to be in the Memphis room in April 1968 on the night before the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. was assassinated. In the room, we watch a civil rights icon flirt, curse, get rattled by lightning, smoke Pall Malls, sip booze, acknowledge his stinky feet and even have a pillow fight with a young woman."

The play runs from Sept. 26 to Nov. 4 and tickets are available at The Rep's ticket office at (414) 224-9490 or in person at 108 E. Wells St.

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