The Gershwins “Porgy And Bess” Opened Wednesday, April 23 At The Ahmanson TheatreTheater — By Buddy Sampson on April 22, 2014 at 8:48 pm
The Tony Award-winning musical “The Gershwins’ Porgy and Bess” makes its triumphant debut at the Center Theatre Group/Ahmanson Theatre, opening Wednesday, April 23 at 8 p.m. at the Center Theatre Group/Ahmanson Theatre. Performances continue through June 1, 2014. (Preview April 22.)
“The Gershwins’ Porgy and Bess” by George Gershwin, DuBose and Dorothy Heyward and Ira Gershwin, features one of Broadway’s most accomplished creative teams, led by Tony Award-winning director Diane Paulus (“Pippin,” “Hair”), Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright Suzan-Lori Parks (“Topdog/Underdog”) who adapted the Book, and two-time Obie Award-winning composer Diedre L. Murray (“Running Man”), who adapted the musical score.
The cast, which includes Nathaniel Stampley and Alicia Hall Moran as Porgy and Bess (respectively), also features Alvin Crawford as Crown, Kingsley Leggs as Sporting Life, Sumayya Ali as Clara, Denisha Ballew as Serena, Danielle Lee Greaves as Mariah and David Hughey as Jake.
In addition, the cast includes Dan Barnhill, Vanjah Boikai, Adrianna M. Cleveland, Roosevelt André Credit, Cicily Dainels, Dwelvan David, Nkrumah Gatling, Tamar Greene, Nicole Adell Johnson, James Earl Jones II, Quentin Oliver Lee, Cheryse McLeod Lewis, Sarita Rachelle Lilly, Kent Overshown, Chauncey Packer, Lindsay Roberts, Fred Rose and Soara-Joye Ross.
This new adaptation of “The Gershwins’ Porgy and Bess” was specifically created for Broadway and features a revised book in a musical theatre format and jazz-oriented musical arrangements. The classic story is set in Charleston’s fabled Catfish Row, where the beautiful Bess struggles to break free from her scandalous past, and the only one who can rescue her is the courageous Porgy. Threatened by her formidable former lover Crown, and the seductive enticements of the colorful troublemaker Sporting Life, Porgy and Bess’ relationship evolves into a deep romance that triumphs as one of theatre’s most exhilarating love stories.
Based on DuBose Heyward’s novel “Porgy” and the play of the same name, which he co-wrote with his wife, Dorothy Heyward, “The Gershwins’ Porgy and Bess” includes such legendary songs such as “Summertime,” “It Ain’t Necessarily So” and “I Got Plenty of Nothing.”
The creative team also includes choreographer Ronald K. Brown, set designer Riccardo Hernandez, costume designer Esosa, lighting designer Christopher Akerlind, sound designer ACME Sound Partners, music supervisor Constantine Kitsopoulous and music director/conductor Dale Rieling.
The revival of “The Gershwins’ Porgy and Bess” had its world premiere at Harvard University’s American Repertory Theater during its 2011/12 season. The production moved to the Richard Rodgers Theatre on Broadway for a limited engagement with an official opening on January 12, 2012. “The Gershwins’ Porgy and Bess” closed on September 23, 2012, after 322 performances, making it the longest running production of “Porgy and Bess” to ever play Broadway.
Tickets for “The Gershwins’ Porgy and Bess” are available by calling (213) 972-4400, online at www.CenterTheatreGroup.org or in person at the CTG box office located at the Ahmanson Theatre at the Music Center.