Delishious – A Gershwin News Update
February 23, 2023
News from the world of George and Ira Gershwin.
The rapturously received production of Crazy for You that was the hit of the 2022 Chichester Festival is coming to London’s West End this summer! You’ll hear the Gershwin hits – “Someone to Watch Over Me,” “Embraceable You,” “I Got Rhythm,” “They Can’t Take That Away from Me” and many more – when Crazy for You opens at the Gillian Lynne Theatre on June 24, 2023.
Written by Ken Ludwig, and helmed by Susan Stroman, the musical’s original director and choreographer, this revival of the winner of the 1992 Tony Award and 1993 Olivier Award for Best Musical stars Charlie Stemp, Carly Anderson, Tom Edden. Tickets are going fast, so get yours before they disappear at https://crazyforyoumusical.com/!
The iconic singer-songwriter Joni Mitchell becomes the latest recipient of the Library of Congress Gershwin Prize on March 1, when her glorious music and lyrics will be celebrated by James Taylor, Brandi Carlile, Annie Lennox, Herbie Hancock, Cyndi Lauper, Marcus Mumford, Graham Nash, Diana Krall, Angélique Kidjo, and Ledisi. The concert will be broadcast on your local PBS station on March 31. More information can be found here.
The day after the concert, Mitchell will sit down with Librarian of Congress Carla Hayden for a special conversation during Live at the Library Although this event is sold out, the recording will be available online at a later date.
The forthcoming Gershwin Critical Edition volumes of An American in Paris and Porgy and Bess are mentioned in The Gershwin Moment, a new National Public Radio broadcast hosted by cultural historian Joseph Horowitz, the author of 2013’s “On My Way”: The Untold Story of Rouben Mamoulian, George Gershwin, and Porgy and Bess (W.W. Norton). Included in the broadcast is a performance by the University of Michigan’s University Symphony Orchestra.
In addition, a performance of a new two-piano edition of An American in Paris, edited by University of Michigan faculty member Logan Skelton, is available for your listening and viewing pleasure at the website of the university’s School of Music, Theatre & Dance.
We note the passing of Alexis Gershwin (born Sandra Godowsky), the eldest daughter of George and Ira’s sister Frances Godowsky and her husband, Leopold Godowsky Jr., on August 12, 2022. In late July 1936, shortly before George and Ira left New York for Hollywood to write what would become among their greatest – and most popular – songs, the songwriting brothers were photographed with young Sandra at the Godowsky home in Rochester, New York. For many years, Alexis kept the Gershwin flame alive as a popular singer.
George Gershwin is a character in Good Night, Oscar, Doug Wright’s new play about the accomplished pianist, and friend of the Gershwins, Oscar Levant, whose interpretations of the Rhapsody in Blue and the Concerto in F are among the finest ever made. The show opens at Broadway’s Belasco Theater on April 7, following a successful run at the Goodman Theatre in Chicago. Ticket and show information can be found here.
A Gershwin LLC, owners of a portion of the George Gershwin copyrights, have reupped their publishing administration deal with the boutique firm of Raleigh Music Publishing. Included in the agreement are the rights to Ferde Grofé’s arrangement of Rhapsody in Blue, as well as all of the songs from Porgy and Bess and from the three films – Shall We Dance, A Damsel in Distress, and The Goldwyn Follies – that Gershwin completed before his death in 1937.
Available on April 28, Pieces of Treasure, the latest album from the ultra-cool singer Rickie Lee Jones (“Chuck E’s in Love”), features her rendition of the classic “They Can’t Take That Away from Me” as one of ten recordings of numbers from the Great American Songbook. Order your copy here.
Porgy and Bess is one of three major works examined in Citizenship on Catfish Row: Race and Nation in American Popular Culture (University of South Carolina Press). Geoffrey Galt Harpham, the former president and director of the National Humanities Center, examines the Gershwin opera alongside Jerome Kern and Oscar Hammerstein II’s musical Show Boat, and D. W. Griffith’s film Birth of a Nation.
— Michael Owen