By NICK SWAN
In a display of brilliance that was at once both profoundly sobering and yet promisingly optimistic, the Kitchen Theatre of downtown Ithaca opened their production run of playwright Katori Hall’s The Mountaintop on Thursday. The Mountaintop is Katori Hall’s dramatized and imagined account of Martin Luther King, Jr.’s last night alive, on April 3, 1968. The play takes place entirely within the stained, yellowing walls of a musty room at the Lorraine Motel in Memphis, Tennessee. At the drama’s beginning, an exhausted Dr. King enters the room, returning from a rally earlier that evening, and yells out the front door, urging his close friend Ralph Abernathy to go purchase cigarettes. When he closes the door, he proceeds to read from his notes on a sermon he is planning to give in the following days.