"I Dream" New Musical Drama Inspired by the Life of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr Opens to Rapturous Applause from Audiences
King Colleagues and Family Members Sing the Praises of the "Story of a Preacher from Atlanta"
The World Premiere of I Dream on July 9 boasted a packed house and a standing ovation, which featured towering figures who marched alongside Dr. King during the Civil Rights Movement of the 1950s and 1960s. Senior members of the King family, many other Atlanta notables and patrons of the arts were also among the invited guests of producers, Musical-Dramatic Arts, Inc and director Jasmine Guy.
"This is the birthing of a brand new celebration of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.", enthuses Guy, "....to chronicle his life in a way that we haven't seen before." She has the pleasure of directing Broadway's outstanding Quentin Earl Darrington as Martin Luther King, acclaimed actress Demetria McKinney as Coretta Scott King, recording artist Bob Carlisle as a major campaign supporter of Dr. King ('the priest') and Atlanta's own singer-songwriter, Avery Sunshine as the young Martin's grandmother.
At the gala reception following the official, inaugural performance, Dr. King's sister, Christine King Farris, was honored for her contribution of family insights shared with writer and composer Douglas Tappin in the refining of his original piece. Daughter Bernice King, who was also honored, declared that "the music tonight was great", as well as describing the work as "very touching" and "a good musical reflection of (her) father".
Former colleagues of the late "Preacher from Atlanta" were unanimous in their praise for the production - including a visibly moved, former Mayor of Atlanta and U.S. Ambassador to the U.N. Andrew Young, Rev. Joseph E. Lowery and Dr. C.T. Vivian, who observed that I Dream "brought back what is left out if you're dealing from a history book--but what only a novel and a play can do... it really brought it back to my soul and spirit."
Producer Dej Mahoney says of the warm reception from these giants of the struggle: "We are absolutely delighted to have that stamp of approval in the capital of the Civil Rights Movement."
This poignant but equally exuberant and glorious telling of a well-known story has inspired reviewers' comments which have been no less positive:
"(I Dream) expresses its emotions on an epic, 'Jesus Christ Superstar' scale... Tappin is a writer of considerable talent...." - Atlanta Journal Constitution
"Tappin's hugely ambitious world premiere follows the example of Broadway's big, rock-influenced musicals such as... Evita and Les Miserables."--Creative Loafing
"The life of Dr. King as chronicled in the stage musical I Dream, is right on time as a reminder of what the fight was for."--Rolling Out
British-born Douglas Tappin has spent four years of his life in Atlanta creating and crafting this momentous work and having seen it all come together on stage in front of such an illustrious and historically significant audience, he reflects that: "what you don't know is whether those whose story it is, will embrace it. But to have them pull you aside to say 'it was moving' will take a little time to digest."
Performances of "I Dream" run through July 31st on the Alliance Stage at the Woodruff Arts Center, Atlanta, Georgia.
For ticket information visit: http://www.idreaminatlanta.com or call (404) 733 5000
NOTES: Although the piece is largely based on real events in Dr. King's life, it does not purport to be an authorized, biographical representation of those events. Where necessary or desirable, the creative imperatives of a stage show have therefore taken precedence over historical precision, with some fictionalized or symbolic characters and story lines. "I Dream" is performed under a license granted by Intellectual Properties Management, Atlanta Georgia, as exclusive licensor of the King Estate.
ABOUT MUSICAL DRAMATIC ARTS: Musical-Dramatic Arts Inc. (MDAI) is a theatrical production company, based in Atlanta, Georgia and London, England. Its mission is to stage productions of original works of musical-drama, with "I Dream" - based on the life of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. - being its first production in the U.S.A. Although Atlanta was selected as the most appropriate birthplace for this new piece, the company's intention is to tour this and future productions internationally through major markets, including Broadway and London.
MDAI is a partnership between author/composer/librettist, Douglas Tappin, his creative collaborator/producer Cedric Perrier, and producers, Dej Mahoney and Tim Bowen.
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