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Step by step: The show “Dream Abundantly,” inspired by the musical “Dreamgirls” and playing at Kings Theatre on June 24, follows four young girls, played by Kennedy Salley, Coco Tate, Zuri McGann, and Brooke-Lynn Williams, as they grow up in the civil rights era.
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It’s a dream of the past and present.

A show inspired by the musical “Dreamgirls” will tackle modern issues, including racism and school shooting, when it plays the Kings Theatre on June 24. “Dream Abundantly” uses tunes and themes from the Broadway musical (and later film) to shine a light on issues facing kids today, said its creator.

“This show pays some tribute to social and economic experiences going on today, the tensions and how it relates to history,” said Karisma Jay. “I did my research to explore those themes and what it really takes to manifest the dream by pushing back.”

This production skips the musical’s girl-group drama, she said, moving the story to the American South during the civil rights movement and featuring four leading ladies in a social justice singing group.

“In our story we start in Birmingham, Alabama after the bombing of the four little girls in the church that Sunday, but we have a grandmother figure in our story who educates her four little girls on what happened to them and inspires a girl group called ‘Dream,’” said Jay.

She was inspired by headlines about mass shootings and killings by police officers, she said.

“The whole idea stems from children getting their dreams cut short, whether by police brutality or school shootings, and we really explore those emotions when a dream is cut short,” she said.

The show includes songs from the original musical, including “I’m Telling You,” and “Step into the Bad Side.”

“Dream Abundantly” at Kings Theatre [1027 Flatbush Ave. between Tilden Road and Duryea Place in Flatbush, [www.kingstheatre.com]. June 24 at 6 pm. $65–$80.

Reach reporter Alexandra Simon at (718) 260–8310 or e-mail her at asimon@cnglocal.com. Follow her on Twitter @AS1mon.
Updated 3:05 am, July 10, 2018
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