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Where veterans rehearsed their words

Ramya Kannan

Martin Luther King III, Kamal and Vairamuthu set to make today’s event a success

— Photo: R. Ravindran

Rare occasion: Martin Luther King III (centre) poses for a picture with Kamal Hassan and Vairamuthu (left) on Tuesday during the dress rehearsal for Wednesday evening’s event being held in commemoration of the 50th year of Martin Luther King’s visit to India.

CHENNAI: It was team effort to see that Martin Luther King III’s Chennai visit went off well. A small group, including King, actor Kamal Hassan and lyricist Vairamuthu, huddled together on the proscenium at the Lady Andal School auditorium, working out the specifics of Wednesday’s events.

The Hindu, which had a sneak peek to the dress rehearsal for “Indian Artists Tribute to Gandhi and King: The Living Dream,” found the small team that had just met gelling well together, chatting easily to get the nuts and bolts out of the way. While the main performance (musical) wound up before Mr. King reached the venue, he participated in discussions involving his role in the event that will take place on Wednesday evening at the Sri Mutha Subba Rao Concert Hall here. And as he moved around the stage to get some photographs taken, his shadow fell on the well-designed stage backdrop, just below the images of his father Martin Luther King Jr. and Mahatma Gandhi.

Kamal Hassan then rehearsed his portion on stage, rendering the famous speech of Martin Luther King Jr., “I have a dream,” co-ordinating music and stage placement.

Lyricist Vairamuthu said it was a significant event, a historic moment of recreating the journey to India undertaken by Dr. King and his wife 50 years ago.

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