Introducing the 20-minute production carried by WBZ-TV channel 4 in Boston in its 8-10 PM EDT coverage, Pops conductor Keith Lockhart ludicrously insisted it was “not political” -- even though it takes its name from Ted Kennedy’s very political 2008 Democratic convention speech aimed at motivating Democrats to push for left-wing policies, starting with nationalized health care, and culminates by quoting the call to arms in that address: “If we set our compass true, we will reach our destination. The work begins anew, the hope rises again and the dream lives on!”
That line was read by actor Morgan Freeman Jr. in the original May 18 production at Boston’s Symphony Hall (mov video excerpt) and coinciding with the concert at Boston’s Hatch Shell along the Charles River, the Pops trumpeted:
Looking ahead to the upcoming week, on Tuesday actors Morgan Freeman, the voice of the CBS Evening News, and Robert DeNiro, Ed Harris and Cherry Jones (“President Allison Taylor” on Fox’s 24), will narrate “the world premiere performance of The Dream Lives On: A Portrait of the Kennedy Brothers – the centerpiece of the Boston Pops’ 125th anniversary season celebration,” a production which“combines quotes from speeches by the Kennedy brothers with original text and video, accompanied by a dramatic orchestral and choral score” so it “pays tribute to the towering achievements and singular spirit epitomized by the Kennedy brothers – the call to public service, drive for social change, and the legacy of optimism for America's future.”
Actor Alec Baldwin will take the lead for a July 18 performance at Tanglewood and actor Chris Cooper will narrate a Hyannis Village Green event August 1. Plus, “The Dream Lives On will receive additional performances” on July 4 “at the Charles River Esplanade as part of the annual Pops Fourth of July Fireworks Spectacular concert,” an event usually broadcast by CBS and hosted by the Late Late Show’s Craig Ferguson.
Now on the rain-slicked streets of Boston and across the wind-swept Cape Code sea, over the din of Washington's halls and down the halls of history, their passionate words can still be heard, their highest ideals a clarion call; these three American brothers inspiring the best in us all.