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"The Mountaintop" Extending Broadway Run... Again; Cinemacast Also Possible

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by Tambay A. Obenson
November 7, 2011 3:43 AM
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I haven't seen the play yet; but everything I've heard from those who have suggests that it's an absolute must-see! And given that an extension of its run passed the original end date was announced last week, I'd say it's doing very well at the box office! And, as if that's not already enough encouragement for those of you in NYC to go see it, this news just came across the wire:

Katori Hall's Olivier Award-winning drama The Mountaintop, which recently extended its run... through Jan. 22, 2012, may play beyond that date... Angela Bassett portrays the mysterious Camae opposite the Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. of... Samuel L. Jackson in the production, which is directed by... Kenny Leon. A further extension would likely require the recasting of the role of King because Jackson has a pre-existing film commitment. Rick Miramontez, a spokesperson for the new drama, told Playbill.com, "The producers hope to be able to keep this show going for as long as there are audiences lining up to see it, and they are exploring all of their options." A production source also told Playbill.com that discussions are currently underway for a cinemacast of the play.

Ok, so, it's already extended its run once, but now there are plans for an even further extension!

Secondly, that extension might mean recasting the MLK role, which is currently played by Samuel L. Jackson, because he has a film commitment; though it looks like Angela Bassett won't be affected. The obvious question is whether Samuel's exit will hurt attendance. I say, it depends on who they cast to replace him. Another *name* actor of Samuel's stature may not make a difference.

And third, a "cinemacast" of the play might be heading to a theater near you. Essentially, a filmed/video-tape recording of the play (not a film adaptation) will be released theatrically for those not able to see it on Broadway. This cinemacast-in of stage productions is something that's becoming more and more the rule. A good way for those who can't take in the live performance but who want to see the production, to do so (and at movie ticket prices, instead of the much more expensive live theatre costs; but also another source of revenue for the show's producers.

A win/win.

Congrats to cast and crew of The Mountaintop! Ms Hall is definitely on her way... it was just about a year and a half ago that we were writing about this play running with success in London's West End theatre district, and the potential that it might make it to Broadway, with Halle Berry starring.

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