New play at Cultural Park dares children to dream
A Cape Coral man is asking kids if they have ever dared to dream with a new family musical called “DOBDINOB,” opening at 8 p.m. Friday at Cultural Park Theatre.
The title refers to a magical land where the story’s hero, “Billy,” encounters such characters as “Prince Beleve,” “Positeva,” “Vizhon” and “King Acheve.”
He attempts to save the land of DOBDINOB from the evil clutches of excuses, self-doubt and the nefarious “Do Nuttins,” all while changing his own life in the process.
The story’s author, Carmine Lombardo, came up with the idea while teaching his seventh-grade English class in New Jersey.
“It was something I had directed to my classroom. I told the kids they have to use their imaginations,” Lombardo said. “I told the story to the students and they thought I should put it down on paper.”
Lombardo did not get the chance to finish the story for his students, but he eventually got around to committing the story to paper.
The story went through several incarnations and revisions since Lombardo began pursuing the project in earnest in 1997.
“As I progressed through life and the journey of life, it was there,” the author said of his work. “I had written many other musicals, but I retired in 1997 and have been working on it since.”
Lombardo experienced firsthand the difficulties of trying to get his labor of love published, experiencing bouts of depression and self-loathing while shopping his project around.
He credits his wife, Dorayne, with helping him stay positive and focused throughout those difficult times. She helped to collaborate with Carmine on writing the “DOBDINOB” musical.
“She’s been my inspiration in all aspects,” Lombardo said of his wife. “But to see my story come to life … I can’t express my appreciation for that.”
Lombardo said the production is peppered with “energetic” choreography and a huge variety of musical numbers including Broadway, country, rap, blues and jazz.
Still, the production’s message is the most crucial, teaching kids that the future is now, that life moves fast and that they should not look back.
“It really encourages young people, or anyone, their dreams can come true with faith in yourself, self-reliance and courage,” Lombardo said. “You have to be persistent. You can’t expect things to come your way, you have to work for it.”
The production will run through Sept. 21. For more information, call Cultural Park Theatre at 772-5862.