Opened at the Richard Rodgers Theatre, New York on January 12, 2012. 293 performances. By George Gershwin, DuBose and Dorothy Heyward, and Ira Gershwin. Adapted by Suzan-Lori Parks and Diedre L. Murray. Directed by Diane Paulus. Choreography by Ronald K. Brown. Cast includes Audra McDonald, Norm Lewis, David Alan Grier, Phillip Boykin, Nikki Renee Daniels, Joshua Henry, Christopher Innvar, Bryonha Marie Parham, and NaTasha Yvette Williams.
In late 2010, the George and Ira Gershwin families and the DuBose and Dorothy Heyward estate authorized a new musical theater version of PORGY AND BESS by the American Repertory Theatre (A.R.T.) in Cambridge, Massachusetts. The adaptation, staged by A.R.T. Artistic Director Diane Paulus, a 2009 Tony nominee for her direction of the Broadway revival of HAIR, debuted at A.R.T. in August 2011, nearly 76 years after the opera premiered at Boston’s Colonial Theatre on September 30, 1935.
Pulitzer Prize-winning author Suzan-Lori Parks (TOPDOG/UNDERDOG, 2002), who has reinvented DuBose Heyward’s 1925 novel, remarked that the intention of this re-imagining was to “retain all the best-loved elements of the original while crafting a piece that speaks to contemporary audiences.”
The impressive cast was led by multiple Tony award-winner Audra McDonald as Bess, who has described her participation in this production as the welcome culmination of her history with PORGY AND BESS. Norm Lewis — from the London and Broadway revivals of LES MISERABLES — was an impressive Porgy, and David Alan Grier, best known for his comedic roles on film and television, but also a recent Broadway star in David Mamet’s RACE, was the embodiment of Sportin’ Life.
To license THE GERSHWINS’ PORGY AND BESS, please contact Tams-Witmark Music Library.