The Gershwins' Porgy and Bess on Broadway played its final Broadway performance on September 23rd after a glorious run.
The Broadway-bound production of THE GERSHWINS' PORGY AND BESS, which played a record-breaking, sold out engagement at the American Repertory Theater, concluded its limited engagement at the Richard Rodgers Theatre after 321 performances, breaking the record of 307 performances previously held by the 1953 revival at the Ziegfeld Theatre.
THE GERSHWINS' PORGY AND BESS, with a score by George Gershwin, a book by DuBose and Dorothy Heyward, and lyrics by Ira Gershwin and DuBose Heyward, has been adapted by Pulitzer prize-winning writer Suzan-Lori Parks, and two-time Obie winner Diedre L. Murray. A.R.T.'s Artistic Director, Diane Paulus, directs. The Broadway production will star Audra McDonald as Bess, Norm Lewis as Porgy and David Alan Grier as Sporting Life, reprising their A.R.T. roles.
The creative team also includes choreographer Ronald K. Brown, set designer Riccardo Hernandez, costume designer ESosa, lighting designer Christopher Akerlind and sound designer ACME Sound Partners.
THE GERSHWINS' PORGY AND BESS is the classic American tale is set in the 1930s in Catfish Row, a neighborhood in Charleston, South Carolina. Bess, beautiful and troubled, turns to Porgy, the crippled beggar, in search of safety after her possessive lover Crown commits murder. As Porgy and Bess's love grows, their future is threatened by Crown and the conniving Sporting Life. This heartbreaking love story boasts some of the most famous and beloved works from the Great American Songbook, including: "Summertime," "Bess, You Is My Woman," "It Ain't Necessarily So" and "I Loves You, Porgy."
THE GERSHWINS' PORGY AND BESS is based on DuBose Heyward's novel "Porgy" and the play of the same name, which he co-wrote with his wife Dorothy Heyward. All three works deal with African American life in the fictitious Catfish Row (based on the real-life Rainbow Row) in Charleston, South Carolina, in the early 1920s. George Gershwin worked on Porgy and Bess in Charleston, SC and drew inspiration from the James Island Gullah community, which he felt had preserved some African musical traditions. The music itself reflects his New York jazz roots, but also draws on southern black traditions. Gershwin modeled the pieces after each type of folk song which the composer knew about; jubilees, blues, praying songs, street cries, work songs, and spirituals are blended with traditional arias and recitatives.