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Published: Thursday, 6/23/2011

Bassett joins Jackson on Broadway this fall


NEW YORK -- Angela Bassett has signed on to star opposite Samuel L. Jackson in the Broadway production of the play The Mountaintop.

Producers announced Tuesday that Bassett will play the mysterious woman who visits the Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr., at the Lorraine Motel in Memphis in playwright Katori Hall's re-imagining of the night before the civil rights leader's 1968 assassination.

The Mountaintop, the winner of the best new play Olivier award in London, will begin performances on Sept. 22 at the Bernard B. Jacobs Theatre on 45th Street. An official opening is set for Oct. 13.

Bassett, 52, an Academy Award nominee who played Tina Turner in What's Love Got to Do With It and who can currently be seen in the film Green Lantern, takes over after Halle Berry pulled out because of child custody issues.

Jackson, 62, will be making his Broadway debut in the play. His many films include Pulp Fiction, The Negotiator, Iron Man, Snakes on a Plane, and Changing Lanes.

Hall, a rising young playwright from Memphis, has also written the plays Hoodoo Love, Remembrance, Hurt Village, Saturday Night/Sunday Morning, and Freedom Train. Her King play will be directed by Kenny Leon, whose Tony Award winning Broadway show Fences earned 10 Tony nominations.

The Mountaintop draws its title from King's last speech. It made its world premiere in 2009 in a small London theater.

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