World Premiere

February 1 – March 19, 2023

An historic night at the Oscars.
dream of what could have been.

Set on the night in 1940 that Hattie McDaniel made history at the Oscars, a story of dreamers striving to overcome considerable obstacles and fighting for recognition amidst the racism and inequity of Hollywood.

IT IS FEBRUARY 29, 1940, the night of the Academy Awards in Hollywood, California. Bartender Arthur Brooks, an ambitious Black man from rural Alabama, dreams of becoming a movie director. His best friend, Dottie Hudson, is a maid at the Ambassador Hotel who finds herself to be a cynic of all dreams. When the actress Hattie McDaniel stops in at the bar and decides not to attend the biggest event in show business, Arthur and Dottie do everything in their power to convince her to go and claim her historic win—while confronting their dark past and making their own dreams come to life.

This play about race, class, gender, and the ever-changing landscape of Hollywood has previously had public readings at The Echo Theatre Company (featuring TimeLine Company Member Mildred Marie Langford) and Morgan-Wixson Theatre’s New Works Festival. TimeLine’s production is its world premiere.

Boulevard of Bold Dreams runs 1 hour and 40 minutes with no intermission

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Production Team


* Member of Actors Equity Association

# Member of United Scenic Artists

~ Member of Stage Directors and Choreographers Society

+ TimeLine Company Member

^ TimeLine Associate Artist

§ TimeLine Playwrights Collective


  • Chicago Sun-Times

    February 16, 2023

    “★★★1/2… Boulevard of Bold Dreams brilliantly depicts Hattie McDaniel’s dilemma on Oscar night… skillful star Gabrielle Lott-Rogers embodies the grace and dignity that allowed Gone With the Wind actor to rise above constant disrespect.

    —Laura Emerick

  • Chicago Tribune

    February 17, 2023

    “★★★…interesting, clever…a superbly acted premiere

    —Chris Jones

  • Let's Play Theatrical Reviews

    February 10, 2023

    Boulevard of Bold Dreams illustrates the excellence in playwriting, directing, and acting that gets hidden because of racism, discrimination, and segregated audiences, who get blinded by historical racism. Yet, it’s such a well-written, riveting play audiences shouldn’t miss. Gardner, Langford, and Lott-Rogers are masterful.

    —Rick & Brenda McCain

  • Chicago Reader

    February 15, 2023

    taut and absorbing…punctuated with some stellar fireworksBoulevard of Bold Dreams taps into both the larger-than-life visions offered on the silver screen, and an astringent view of what it takes to get up there without losing everything that makes you who you are in the first place.”

    —Kerry Reid

  • Buzz Center Stage

    February 10, 2023

    A must-see show […] what playwright Williams gives us is the nuanced dimensions of the internal struggle within Daniels’ heart, and within the Black community. The interweaving of exposition and dramatic interchange is artful at an exceptional level. […] it’s standing-ovation stuff.”

    —Bill Esler

  • Around the Town Chicago

    February 9, 2023

    “★★★★… watching the scenes between these characters made me feel as if we were back in time and that I was the preverbal “fly on the wall” observing the back and forth conversations between these three people. It felt real and as if it were taking place right then. That makes this production very special.”

    —Alan Bresloff

  • Picture This Post

    February 10, 2023

    “Astounding performances, heartfelt writing, and gorgeous design make Williams’ world premiere a story to remember – particularly for those dreamers in the audience. Boulevard of Dreams is not only a look back at history, but also an invitation to imagine what is to come.

    —Lauren Katz

  • The Life and Times of Rikki Lee Travolta

    February 10, 2023

    Boulevard of Bold Dreams is a powerful, moving and thoroughly electrifying exploration of the human spirit as it relates to the Black experience in Hollywood. […] it is a powerful look at the past, that will give you added insight into the present. You will be moved. You will be touched. You will be changed.

    —Rikki Lee Travolta

  • The Fourth Walsh

    February 16, 2023

    This cast is a winning trifecta!… The performances are outstanding! Langford, Gardener and Lott-Rogers deliver hope and hopelessness with true grit.”

    —Katy Walsh

  • Newcity Stage

    February 21, 2023

    “Lott-Rogers’ poised yet deeply human McDaniel is everything I ever thought her to be … TimeLine’s work once again aptly demonstrates that we cannot reinvent history, though what it means to us can always be reinvigorated.

    —Amanda Finn

  • Chicago Theatre Review

    February 14, 2023

    “With sincerity and straightforwardness, this production, like TimeLine’s CAMPAIGNS, INC. and TROUBLE IN MIND, continues to explore the intersection of politics, race and the entertainment business. It’s a magnificent production of a thought-provoking new play that really is a must-see

    —Colin Douglas

  • Rachel Weinberg Reviews

    February 11, 2023

    Gabrielle Lott-Rogers is wonderful as Hattie, conveying both the larger-than-life air of celebrity and the frustration at being a pioneering Black woman in Hollywood.”

    —Rachel Weinberg


  • Interview with director Malkia Stampley on WGN Morning News

    February 19, 2023

    Watch the interview

  • Interview with LaDarrion Williams and Gabrielle Lott-Rogers on ABC 7

    February 21, 2023

    Watch the interview

Discussions & Events

  • Distanced Performances of BOULEVARD OF BOLD DREAMS
    Sunday, February 12 & Wednesday, March 1

    These performances have a capacity cap and seating chart.

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  • BOULEVARD OF BOLD DREAMS: Post-Show Discussions
    Various Dates

    Join us for informal post-show discussions with members of the production team and cast.

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    February 26 & March 9

    Join us for an informal sneak peek into this production with members of the production team.

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  • BOULEVARD OF BOLD DREAMS: Company Member Discussion
    Sunday, March 5 at 4pm

    Join us for an informal chat with TimeLine’s Company Members after today’s performance.

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  • Open Captioned Performances of BOULEVARD OF BOLD DREAMS
    March 10 at 8pm & March 11 at 4pm

    Featuring a text display of words and sounds heard during the performance.

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    Saturday, March 11, 2023 at 8pm

    A night at BOULEVARD OF BOLD DREAMS dedicated to and celebrating Black audience members.

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    Sunday, March 12 at 3:45pm

    This one-hour post-show panel discussion features experts on the themes of the play.

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  • Audio Described Performance of BOULEVARD OF BOLD DREAMS
    March 17 at 8pm

    Featuring audio description of visuals during the performance via individual headset.

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