The Gershwins’ Porgy and Bess BROADWAY REVIEWS

  • PorgyandBess
  • NY TIMES

  • HR

  • VARIETY

  • AP

  • EW

Opening Night:
January 12, 2012
Closing:
September 23, 2012

Theater: Richard Rodgers / 226 West 46th Street, New York, NY, 10036

Synopsis: 

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.

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  • NEW YORK TIMES REVIEW OF The Gershwins’ Porgy and Bess

    A New Storm’s Brewing Down on Catfish Row

    Ben Brantley

    January 12, 2012: The hurricane that’s said to be headed for Catfish Row has yet to arrive early in the second act of “The Gershwins’ Porgy and Bess,” which opened on Thursday night in a new, slimmed-down reincarnation at the Richard Rodgers Theater. The climate so far might be described as mostly cloudy and mild, as might this version of the show. But suddenly an elemental force takes possession of the stage, and its tremors course through the audience.

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  • HOLLYWOOD REPORTER REVIEW OF The Gershwins’ Porgy and Bess

    The Gershwins' Porgy and Bess

    David Rooney

    January 12, 2012: Boldly reinterpreted and performed with spectacular feeling, this revival brings an American masterwork back to blazing dramatic life.

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  • VARIETY REVIEW OF The Gershwins’ Porgy and Bess

    The Gershwins' Porgy and Bess

    Steven Suskin

    January 12, 2012: When Audra McDonald joins Norm Lewis in singing "I Loves You, Porgy," their duet will thrill "Porgy and Bess" newcomers and purists alike. But when McDonald delivers a newly devised reprise of "There's a Boat Dat's Leavin' Soon for New York" to her baby while snorting cocaine, theatergoers with a knowledge of the original will roll their eyes. This new Broadway version is a re-envisioned and streamlined version of the 1935 folk opera with smudgy fingerprints affixed; McDonald and Lewis make it reasonably entertaining, but this "Porgy Lite" is not nearly as electrifying as the real thing.

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  • ASSOCIATED PRESS REVIEW OF The Gershwins’ Porgy and Bess

    A reworked 'Porgy and Bess' is rich and luscious

    Mark Kennedy

    January 12, 2012: A gorgeous version of the American stage classic opened at the Richard Rodgers Theatre on Thursday for the first time in more than three decades with plenty of hand-wringing that this updated version led by director Diane Paulus and playwright Suzan-Lori Parks was messing with a Gershwin masterpiece.

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  • ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY REVIEW OF The Gershwins’ Porgy and Bess

    The Gershwins' Porgy and Bess

    Thom Geier

    January 12, 2012: Is there anything Audra McDonald cannot do? The four-time Tony winner is the heart and soul of the much-anticipated (and much-critiqued) revival of The Gershwin's Porgy and Bess, and she is devastating as Bess, a loose woman who struggles to reform in an impoverished waterfront tenement in 1920s South Carolina.

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