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

Rated 4.0

And The Dream Goes On! is back for a third January run with California Musical Theatre’s Martin Luther King Jr. Theatre Project. The show features local performers in a setting with more elaborate production values than community-theater groups ordinarily can summon. Dream’s creators, who are all from Sacramento, have done additional fine-tuning. The show is now neater, more polished and a bit shorter—though it still runs just over two-and-a-half hours.

This third incarnation confirms—as if further proof were needed—that the Rev. Charles Cooper’s score is a keeper, all the way. It’s got more catchy, gospel-inflected tunes than any other new musical I’ve heard in years. A limited-edition CD is rumored to be in the works; an excellent idea.

Interwoven is a story by Anthony D’Juan and Lisa Tarrer Lacy that’s more of a parable than anything else. It deals with the challenge of passing on awareness of the struggles and achievements from the civil-rights era to the current generation—which, like most younger generations, can be historically apathetic. Dream is more of a “message piece” than one typically encounters in the realm of musical theater, but that difference is ultimately Dream’s advantage. It undergirds the show with a sense of gravity, spirituality and genuine uplift.

Credit California Musical Theatre for nurture and support. Two years ago, it recognized this show’s potential and brought resources to bear. The collaborative effort has been worth it. Dream is a distinctive and rewarding show, a special piece that richly deserves future productions in other cities. Catch it in Sacramento while you can. There are only five more performances.