Playbill Vault Celebrates the 50th Anniversary of Martin Luther King's "I Have a Dream" Speech

On the 50th anniversary of the March on Washington, the Playbill Vault celebrates the Broadway legacy of the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. and his historic speech at the Lincoln Memorial.

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Billy Dee Williams starred in I Have a Dream, an evening of theatre and music celebrating the words and teachings of the Martin Luther King. The play premiered September 14, 1976, at the Ambassador Theatre.

Read the I Have a Dream Playbill here.

Mahalia Jackson, a gospel singer and friend of King's, performed at the 1963 March on Washington. As King presented his prepared speech, she urged him to share with the audience a different, rousing speech he'd given in Detroit. King pushed aside his notes and began the iconic "I Have a Dream" speech.

Truly Blessed celebrated the life and music of Mahalia Jackson, from her childhood to her gospel career to her performance at the March on Washington. Written byand starring Esther Morrow, the musical premiered April 22, 1990, at the Longacre Theatre.

Read the Truly Blessed Playbill here.

The Mountaintop, by Katori Hall, imagines Martin Luther King in his final hours on the night before his 1968 assassination. The play starred Samuel L. Jackson as King and Angela Bassett as a mysterious employee of the Lorraine Motel in Memphis, TN. The play, which earned the Olivier Award prior to its 2011 Broadway arrival, has become a popular title among regional theatres 

Read the opening night Playbill from The Mountaintop here. 

 

 

 

View highlights from The Mountaintop: