As New York bustles with fall Broadway openings, theaters around the country are hard at work preparing regional productions of Broadway favorites as well as new shows. This week’s Countrywide Guide highlights the starry regional premiere of the Martin Luther King drama The Mountaintop, the first West Coast production of The Morini Strad, a holiday show with an unbelievable title and more.
Jasmine Guy Directs Demetria McKinney in The Mountaintop
Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. returns to Atlanta in a new production of Katori Hall's The Mountaintop. House of Payne star Demetria McKinney portrays a mysterious maid opposite NYC theater vet Danny Johnson as Dr. King in this fictionalized account of the evening before the Civil Rights leader's 1968 assassination at the Lorraine Motel in Memphis. Produced by Tony nominee Kenny Leon's True Colors Theatre Company, The Mountaintop is directed by A Different World star Jasmine Guy and runs November 13 through December 16 at the Southwest Arts Center.
Rodgers & Hammerstein’s Cinderella Waltzes to the Stage
The prince is giving a ball! Before Tony nominee Laura Osnes reinvents Cinderella for New York audiences, Maryland theatergoers can enjoy Rodgers and Hammerstein’s musical fairytale of a servant transformed into a royal princess. Starring Jessica Lauren Ball in the title role, Dreamgirls vet Terry Burrell as the Fairy Godmother and Ragtime’s Donna Migliaccio as the Stepmother, Olney Theatre Center’s Cinderella runs November 14 through December 30. Take your favorite little girl to see this one.
LOS ANGELES, CA
Mariette Hartley Tries to Salvage a Stradivarius in The Morini Strad
Emmy winner Mariette Hartley (Peyton Place; The Hulk) stars as world-renowned violinist Erica Morini in the West Coast premiere of Willy Holtzman’s The Morini Strand. Inspired by a true story, the play centers on an aging musician who forms an unlikely friendship with a stubborn violin maker after damaging her multimillion-dollar instrument. The play is set to run at Burbank's Colony Theatre November 14 through December 6. Find out how one damaged instrument changes two people’s lives forever.
Football Drama Lombardi Touches Down in Phoenix
Lombardi, the real story behind legendary Green Bay Packers coach Vince Lombardi, begins a run in Phoenix on November 15. Starring Broadway vet Bob Ari in the title role and TV’s DeeDee Rescher in the Tony-nominated role of his hard-drinking wife, Marie, Eric Simonson's drama is set in 1965, just before the first Super Bowl game. See why Lombardi reignited Broadway’s interest in athletics on stage at the Herberger Theater Center through December 2.
The Holidays Kick Off With a Ridiculously Titled Show
With a title like It’s a Wonderful Santa Land Miracle Nut-Cracking Christmas Story…Jews Welcome, this musical is sure to be a unique, funny and perhaps offensive theatrical experience. As the name suggests,the interactive, multi-media spectacular is a nutty celebration of all kinds of holiday traditions, appropriate for all ages. Presented by Chicago’s Street Tempo Theatre, the run begins at Stage 773 on November 15 and continues through December 30. Be sure to save room for “non-holiday specific” eggnog!