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D.J. Sparr, Mark Campbell and Davis Miller’s Approaching Ali was inspired by the latter’s deeply personal story, My Dinner with Ali, and the subsequent international best seller, The Tao of Muhammed Ali.
The poignant tale recounts how a bullied young boy (Miller) in North Carolina in the early 1960’s is galvanized to overcome some traumatic childhood events when he sees the charismatic and powerful icon, Muhammed Ali on television. Young Miller follows his idol faithfully, continuing to draw inspiration from him. More than twenty years later, as a writer on the brink of middle age, he seeks to rekindle that spirit of awe and gratitude, by visiting his boyhood hero in person at Ali’s mother’s home in Louisville, Kentucky.
Miller drives around indecisively, then steels his resolve, parks the car, nervously walks to the front door, and rings the bell. A lifelong friendship is born. Approaching Ali is sure to warm hearts with an uplifting message of brotherly accord, performed just days after what would have been Ali’s 80th birthday.
Casting for this West Coast Premiere of Approaching Ali includes the original star, bass Soloman Howard, with baritone David Kravitz, and Soprano Sheronda McKee-Dollar. Joshua Horsch conducts.