First up is the play The Mountaintop, which brings alive the man himself as he unwinds after delivering what would be his final speech in Memphis in early April, 1968. In room 306 of the Lorraine Hotel, Dr. King is visited by a hotel maid with some challenging and surprising questions. The play has already received great praise for its Broadway incarnation and is making its Baltimore debut under the direction of Center Stage’s own artistic director, Kwame Kwei-Armah. Jan. 9-Feb. 24: Center Stage. 700 N. Calvert St. Times vary. $10-56. 410-332-0033. centerstage.org.
Next up is the 13th annual Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Parade presented by Forman Mills, which steps off from Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard (appropriately enough) and Eutaw Street at noon on Saturday, January 19. This jubilant event features marching bands, decorative floats, cheerleading squads, honor and color guards, and even horses in a joyful remembrance of the civil-rights leader and his contributions to American society. As always, the parade is free for spectators and more information can be gained by calling 877-BALTIMORE or visiting promotionandarts.org.