… And the Dream Goes On! A Celebration in Song, Word and Dance

California Musical Theatre’s annual Martin Luther King Jr. Theatre Project opens this week with … And the Dream Goes On! A Celebration in Song, Word and Dance. The original play features music by Charlie Cooper, a script by Anthony D’Juan, and the directing talents of Lisa Tarrer Lacy.

The Martin Luther King Jr. Theatre Project originated in the early 1990s when the late Sam Pannell, then a Sacramento city councilman, challenged the California Musical Theatre’s management to mount a locally produced show involving Sacramento’s black community. The first production in the series was mounted in 1995. The project has since grown into a popular January event.

D’Juan, who wrote last year’s production, Keeping the Dream Alive, has carried over the character of the dream guide from that show but has crafted a more conventional storyline. “[This year’s production] runs two acts, and it deals with attitudes from the old civil-rights movement vs. today’s rebellious youth. I stripped elements from the hip-hop community and some modern-day churches, along with excerpts from the past, and put them together to create a conflict,” D’Juan said.

Cooper is thrilled to have been asked to provide the score. “It has given me the opportunity to really look inside of myself to see what ‘the dream’ means to me,” Cooper said. “I’ve attempted to touch upon music that will cross generations and will cause people to think, shed a tear, laugh and to walk away holding on to a piece of the dream that they can share with others.”