San Diego Repertory Theatre’s current production, The Mountaintop, offers an imaginative take on the last night of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s life. It’s an intriguing idea around which to build a drama, especially effective as performed in the intimate Lyceum Space, in which all seats are within 25 feet of the stage. The play depicts King retiring to his room following the delivery of his “I’ve Been to the Mountaintop” speech. He orders coffee from room service, and when the maid delivers the coffee, she reveals an unexpected persona that guides King and the audience through narrative to core American history.
The Mountaintop successfully premiered in London in 2009. It won the 2010 Olivier Award for Best New Play, and it recently ran on Broadway, where the play starred Angela Bassett and Samuel L. Jackson. Playwright Katori Hall has won many prestigious awards and fellowships. Director Roger Guenveur Smith’s work has been internationally acclaimed, with awards that include an Obie and a Peabody.
This thought-provoking drama continues through March 31. (619.544.1000, www.sdrep.org) DARLENE G. DAVIES