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BEST PORTRAYAL OF AN ICON 

Walter Coppage in The Mountaintop

Critics' Choice

If it takes courage to portray one of history's greats, it takes still more to play them as real, flawed human beings. We're grateful, then, to Walter Coppage, who bewitched us with a gracious and playful portrayal of Martin Luther King Jr. in the Unicorn Theatre's June production of The Mountaintop. The play's version of King packed plenty of charisma and iconic solemnity, but we also witnessed a man's vulnerability and vices (cigarettes, spunky hotel maids). As King, Coppage got to flirt, fight and pad around the room in smelly, holey socks. The actor's intrepid probe into King's humanity was fascinating and emotionally complex, and his delivery of a final monologue on the eve of King's assassination was breathtaking.

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