Halle Berry — who already has an Oscar (“Monster’s Ball”) and an Emmy (“Introducing Dorothy Dandridge”) — won’t be contending for a Tony Award next season. She was to make her theatrical debut this fall in the Broadway edition of the Olivier-winning play “The Mountaintop” but child custody issues demand she remain on the west coast.
Berry was to play the plum role of a maid who encounters Dr. Martin Luther King in his Memphis hotel room the night before he is assassinated in 1968. Oscar nominee Samuel L. Jackson (“Pulp Fiction”) will still portray the fallen leader in his return to the rialto two decades after he was an understudy in August Wilson‘s “The Piano Lesson.” And Kenny Leon, who landed a Tony bid last season for his helming of Wilson’s “Fences” will direct this production, which begins previews on Sept. 22 with opening night slated for Oct. 13.
Last year, this first play by American actress by Katori Hall pulled off an upset at the Olivier Awards, winning Best Play over two British works which had a leading six nominations each — “Jerusalem,” a dark comedy of class by Jez Butterworth and Lucy Prebble‘s “Enron,” a savage satire about that company’s implosion.