Dolly Parton opens up in new musical!
by WILLIAM WRIGHT, Lifestyles Editor
May 29, 2013 | 2268 views | 0 0 comments | 17 17 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Dreamsong Theater opens with ‘My People’
From the Dreamsong stage, Dolly Parton tells parts of the story, ‘My People,”        singing and carrying on conversations with the live performers as they join in sharing her  stories and singing several of her popular songs, with the audience joining in. Banner photos, WIlliam Wright
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Dolly Parton will always be the heart of Dollywood and what’s inside her heart has never been as vividly portrayed as in her new show, “My People,” at the new Dreamsong Theater at the Pigeon Forge attraction.

Parton has written, produced and “stars” in this lively musical based on her early life and times with her family. She uses an innovative big screen projection above the stage that allows the live performers to interact with her on-screen version with perfect timing while she narrates the show with her unique country humor. The stage resembles a large porch with rocking chairs and benches with the big screen stationed overhead in the back. When the show starts, there’s a “home movie” playing on the screen — a handwritten letter home from a new-to-Nashville Dolly, interspersed with vintage pictures of Parton’s parents.

From there Parton tells parts of the story, singing and carrying on conversations with the live performers as they join in sharing her stories and singing several of her popular songs, with the audience joining in.

The black-and-white and sepia footage of a young Dolly Parton and her family are priceless glimpses into the childhood of a little girl whose greatest wish was to sing and perform for others. The show offers an entertaining walk down memory lane — tracing her musical roots from singing to farm animals and in church, to moving to Nashville the day after her high school graduation to pursue her career. Her brother, Randy, and sister, Cassie, are a big part of the show, as well as a few nieces, cousins and her extended family of close friends, who call themselves the “Partons.”

The toe-tapping, hip-slapping tunes featured songs from Parton’s childhood as well as the songs that made her a household name — from “Jolene” and “9 to 5” to “Islands in the Stream” and “I Will Always Love You.” Parton and her family even related the story about a song she wrote in her early years that she was convinced would be a huge hit called “Pig Latin.” Singing the song during “My People” proved to be a huge hit with the audience who saw the very first show of the Grand Opening of Dreamsong theater after the ribbon-cutting on May 10.

When Parton officially cut the ribbon to inaugurate the Dreamsong Theater she was met by a huge crowd of fans and reporters who applauded the opening of the new theater. The most creative country singer of our times said she owes everything in her life to her family and to God, which is clearly detailed in her autobiographical musical, “My People,” playing daily at the new Dreamsong

theater at Dollywood.

Parton appeared live on stage to introduce the first “My People” show and joined the cast on stage for the finale in a rousing number that brought the audience to its feet with a standing ovation. The 50-minute show features 15 performers live on stage and Parton shinning as bright as ever on screen.

Parton’s heart and soul appear to be in “My People,” a musical that celebrates the rise of a superstar and the family who inspired her to follow her dreams. The story tells of Parton’s early life and close relationship with her family, which is showcased in “My People.”

Specifically, “My People” tells the story of a little country girl from a great big family who simply wanted to write songs and sing. And with her family’s support, she did, and does, both — with great success. Faith — in God and in each other — is a cornerstone of the Parton family’s story, as told in her story.

DreamSong Theater is designed to feature five new shows in 2013. Park guests will find 500 comfortable upholstered seats (with drink holders) in what many movie theaters describe as a “stadium seating” arrangement.

And it’s air-conditioned, which will make it a welcome break on hot days this summer

A visit to Dollywood tells why the theme park has become such an entertainment capital of Tennessee and why people love Dolly Parton.