steadily
 
 
Home / Events / Theater / The Mountaintop

The Mountaintop

REBECCA JACOBSON
7:30 pm Tuesdays-Sundays, 2 pm alternating Saturdays and Sundays, and noon Thursdays through Oct. 27., Wednesday October 16 | $40-$55.
Gerding Theater
128 NW 11th Ave.
 
There are undoubtedly new things to be said about Martin Luther King Jr. That’s not the trouble with Katori Hall’s The Mountaintop. No, the problem is that Hall condescends to her subject and audience in a manner worse than didacticism. Her play hinges on a gimmick, and one that is tired, tonally jarring and toe-curlingly cutesy. Set at Memphis’ Lorraine Motel on April 3, 1968—the night before King’s assassination—Hall’s Olivier Award-winning play introduces us to a man who’s weary, hoarse-throated and plagued by a bad case of stinky feet. King (Rodney Hicks, who strikes an impressive balance of the ordinary and the extraordinary) spitballs phrases for a new speech as he paces before the mirror, loosening his tie. Into this bare-bones motel room flies Camae (Natalie Paul), an ebullient, potty-mouthed maid. And for roughly the first half of this 90-minute play, the two banter and flirt and engage in various forms of high-flung oratory—in Camae’s case, it involves her deeming God “a funny-ass motherfucker.” But then Hall produces a cheap twist, which I won’t reveal here. Trust me, though: You’ve seen this one before. Let it suffice to say that Camae isn’t what she seems, and this revelation torques The Mountaintop from a moderately compelling drama to a Lifetime Christmas special. There are phone calls to God, redundant arguments about inevitable things and a boob joke that reminded me of Mean Girls. It’s a shame, really—Hicks and Paul have an engaging chemistry, one that’s alternately flirtatious and politically charged, which continues all the way to a frenzied pillow fight (it’s a lovely image, with tiny white feathers flying about the stage like snow). And director Rose Riordan keeps things tight and energetic, even as the proceedings spiral into patronizing looniness. Sometimes, a surrealistic flight of fancy allows a play to spread its wings. Other times, we just get flimsy clichés and a mess of feathers on the floor.

Where: Gerding Theater
Phone: 445-3700
Address: 128 NW 11th Ave.
Website: pcs.org

 
 
Other events in Theater

Bill Frisell: Guitar in the Space Age!

Friday, Jan 30, 2015

[ROOTS JAZZ] Jazz guitar legend Bill Frisell has lent his bespectacled virtuosity by way of an ethereal Telecaster to many important musicians, from Elvis Costello a ...

8 pm Friday, Jan. 30. | $35. Under 21 permitted with legal guardian.
Aladdin Theater 3017 SE Milwaukie Ave. Portland Web | Map

Brian Doyle

Friday, Jan 30, 2015
Portland author and essayist Brian Doyle (Mink River, The Plover) delves into his Catholic upbringing for his newest work A Book of Uncommon Prayer. Uncommon indeed, for Doyle's c ...
7:30 pm | Free
Powell's City of Books 1005 W Burnside St. Portland Web | Map

Constructs

Friday, Jan 30, 2015
Constructs is curator Rachel Adams’ inspired solution to the quandary of how to fill Disjecta’s massive exhibition space. This clean, elegant show is a kind of “etude on the wall,” a se ...
Disjecta 8371 N Interstate Ave. Portland Web | Map
Also At Gerding Theater

Threesome

Friday, Jan 30, 2015

In a stab at healing their troubled relationship, an Egyptian-American couple invites a stranger into the sheets for a threesome. The sexy times don't go quite as planned, and things quickly move f ...

7:30 pm Tuesdays-Sundays (excluding Feb. 8, 22 and 24 and March 3 and 8); 2 pm select Saturdays-Sundays; noon select Thursdays. Through March 8 | $20-$55
Gerding Theater 128 NW 11th Ave. Web | Map

Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike

Friday, Jan 30, 2015
Christopher Durang has likened his latest play, Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike, to Chekhov put through a comic blender. It’s a comparison that puts me in mind of those Will It Blend?< ...
7:30 pm Tuesdays-Saturdays; 2 pm select Saturdays and Sundays; noon select Thursdays. Through Feb. 8 | $20-$69
Gerding Theater 128 NW 11th Ave. Web | Map

Threesome

Saturday, Jan 31, 2015

In a stab at healing their troubled relationship, an Egyptian-American couple invites a stranger into the sheets for a threesome. The sexy times don't go quite as planned, and things quickly move f ...

7:30 pm Tuesdays-Sundays (excluding Feb. 8, 22 and 24 and March 3 and 8); 2 pm select Saturdays-Sundays; noon select Thursdays. Through March 8 | $20-$55
Gerding Theater 128 NW 11th Ave. Web | Map
  • Currently 3.5/5 Stars.
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
comments powered by Disqus
 

Web Design for magazines

Close
Close
Close