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Maryland performances including Theater, plays, ballet and opera

Theater review: The Mountaintop playing at Centerstage

Memphis, April 3, 1968: Dr. Martin Luther King unwinds at the Lorraine Hotel after delivering his "I've been to the Mountaintop speech" in support of striking sanitation workers. It's cold and rainy and the crowd who came out to hear him had been smaller than anticipated. He's waiting for cigarettes as he gears up to prepare his speech for the following day, and that is where The Mountaintop, playing at Centerstage in Baltimore, begins.

 The MountaintopWritten by Katori Hall and directed by Kwame Kwei-Armah, the play stars Shawn Hamilton as Dr. King and Myxolydia Tyler as a hotel maid named Camae, who give excellent performances in the Baltimore Premiere of this 90 minute one-act play with no intermissions. Playing through Sunday February 24, the well paced dialogue and the content make this a must-see theater event.

So what was on Dr. King's mind that rainy night in the Lorraine Hotel and what kind of conversation might he have had with the maid who delivers his coffee and lends him a cigarette? You'll have to see the play to find out because I am honor bound not to divulge the ending.

When you do buy your tickets, pay attention to where your seats are located. I did experience a problem with the acoustics in the Head Theater where the play is being performed, and had some difficulty hearing the actors at all times. The seats in the "orchestra" section are elevated every two rows and if you are in the second row after the riser behind tall broad patron your vision can be partially blocked (as I experienced). I would recommend sitting in the balcony or mezzanine. Nevertheless, despite these difficulties, I still highly recommend seeing The Mountaintop. A special performance event is scheduled for Martin Luther King Day on January 2l. For the details as well as times and ticket prices visit their website.

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