The Universality of Human Flaws — The Mountaintop

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Review by Merlin Uwalaka

“The Mountaintop”, written by Katori Hall, delves into the solitude and introspection of being a figurehead, revealing the weight of expectations and the isolation that comes with such prominence.

Director Patricia Darbasie  leads us on a poignant journey into a moment of Martin Luther King’s life, shedding light on his roles as preacher, activist, and human being. A standout element is the set designed by John C. Dinning, which breathes life into the narrative with its meticulous attention to detail, transforming ordinary objects into significant symbols. This underscores the play’s message that every element matters.

The core message resonates powerfully; that ordinary people, not just those atop the metaphorical mountain, play crucial roles in driving change. The play urges us to recognize our own potential for leadership and activism, emphasizing the universality of human flaws and the capacity for justice.

While initially slow-paced, the play crescendos to a gripping conclusion, balancing humor, introspection, and raw authenticity. Despite featuring just two actors, (Patricia Cerra as Camae and Ray Strachan as Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.) the play is immersive, with monologues directly addressing the audience.

In sum, “The Mountaintop” is a masterful blend of humor, detail, self-awareness, and genuine emotion—a testament to the enduring relevance of Martin Luther King’s legacy and the collective power of ordinary individuals striving for justice.

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The Mountaintop” runs until April 21st, 2024 at the Citadel Theatre.

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