Review: Regional Premiere of The Mountaintop at Chester Theatre Company
- OnStage Massachusetts Critic
Chester MA - The Regional Premiere of The Mountaintop written by Katori Hall tells a story of one night in the life of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.. It features two actors who tell the playwright’s captivating story. Jordan Mahome, as Martin Luther King Jr., and Shelley Fort as Camae, over the course of one evening, come to fully realize the societal impact Dr. King has accomplished, yet at the same time realize he is only one man and he can’t carry the baton of social change alone. He will soon need to pass it off to the next person who will carry on his mission.
Both Mahome and Fort were strong in their rolls and fully captured their character’s spirits. Mahome, as Dr. King, spoke with clarity and conviction. He realistically displayed a range of emotion that made it easy for the audience to sympathize with him, his struggles, his hopes and his fears. Fort, as Camae, a maid hiding her true identity, was contrary to the poised Dr. King. She was straightforward, sharp of tongue and quick-witted while at times also showing a softer, gentler side. They had a great chemistry that made their dialogue seem fluid and free. It was easy for the audience to become enthralled with this drama. When the story took an unexpected turn, the audience shifted in their seats and was more intently drawn into the play. From that moment it seemed as though the pace quickened and the story unfolded faster. By the time the last five minutes came around, the audience was captivated on the edge of their seats. When the lights went down it didn’t take long for them to stand to their feet and applaud the superb performance they had just seen.
Director Colette Robert and the design team that includes Travis George (scenic), Lara Dubin (lighting), Tom Shread (sound) and Heather Crocker Aulenback (costume) created a world that was neatly tied together by each technical element. From the use of sound to create a thunderstorm to a machine that dropped snow to a backdrop that historic film clips were projected on; each played a role in making this story realistic and intriguing for the audience.
The Mountaintop is a provocative and thought provoking play that is sure to spark conversations amongst its audience members. It is best viewed by a mature audience due to language and mature content. © It runs about 90 minutes with no intermission and plays until August 28th at the historic Town Hall, 15 Middlefield Road in Chester, MA. Show times are 8:00pm on Wednesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays, and 2pm on Thursdays, Fridays and Sundays. Ticket prices are $37.50 for general audiences and $10.00 for students and residents of Chester. For tickets or more information visit www.chestertheatre.org.
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