The Mountaintop is about Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.‘s last night, dramatized with the help of a very unusual motel maid. The Black Rep is putting it on at Grandel Theatre in Grand Center, until 9 March and you will miss something wonderful if you don’t go see it. You may want to forget the Lorraine motel in Memphis. Like me, you may get teary eyed, even now at all the hope that was lost when we lost Dr. King on 4 April 1968.
But this play is different. It is amazing, wonderfully directed by Linda Kennedy. Alicia Revé as Camae is irreverent, sassy, sad, flirty, exactly like a woman like her was at her best. Ronald Conner as Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. is great. How hard it must be to play that role. I guess I’ve seen plays that capture past times well, but this one was particularly good. That was a time like no other, a time of anger against injustice, a time when many of us baby boomers were young, first learning with astonishment that the older people were truly getting us in a mess, were truly serving up unfairness with tired old excuses. Things are different, more subtle now, but it does us all good to remember those times, to reflect on our own lives, and simply to enjoy an outstanding play.
We had spent part of the day at an antique store in Augusta where you could see butterfly chairs, Nancy Drew books, and tiny coke bottles. We had pot roast for dinner. All these old things put us in just the time frame for this powerful play, in which a black dial telephone figures prominently.
Go see it!