Porgy and Bess Broadway
Wed & Sat 2pm
Wed through Sat 8pm
The revival of Porgy and Bess Broadway has received much hype and anticipation this winter. The groundbreaking work of George and Ira Gershwin with libretto by DuBose Heyward first debuted back in 1935. The production was considered as an opera and covered racial issues of the period. George Gershwin considered the work to be an "American folk opera." The original work was a bit long-winded for audiences and critics and did not move audiences instantly. Later productions were reworked, including the 2012 revival which promises to be more contemporary as well as intimate. Porgy and Bess Broadway are scheduled for an opening night at the Richard Rodgers Theatre on January 12, 2012.
The original Broadway story is based on DuBose Heyward's novel titles "Porgy" which was co-written with his wife Dorothy Heyward. The work was later turned into a play before becoming a musical/opera with help from the Gershwin's. All the works tell the story of African-American's in the fictionist area of "Catfish Row" during the 1920' in South Carolina. The production would go onto to premier in New York in 1935 and boasted an entire cast of classically trained African-American singers. The casting was considered daring for a major Broadway production of the time period. Though the opera is widely considered a groundbreaking work today, the original premiere never caught on in the United States, closing after 124 performances at the Alvin Theatre.
In 1942 Porgy and Bess made a return to Broadway in its first revival. The talented director and producer Cheryl Crawford from Maplewood, New Jersey. Cheryl closed her third season at the regional theatre with an adaptation of the original work. She reworked the piece to have more of a "musical" style of tradition Gershwin's productions which audiences were attuned to. She was also able to cut down the run time and cast as well as the orchestra. The changes made drew a better response from audiences and critics. Renowned theater owner Lee Shubert was impressed with the production and began planning a Broadway revival. The musical opened at the Majestic Theatre in January 1942 and was a commercial success running for nine months.
Through the 1960' and 1970', the production was set aside on the shelves. The racially charged era' seemed to harsh or risky to bring the musical to commercial appeal. In 1976, a new staging was produced for the Houston Grand Opera. The production returned to the entire original score of the 1935 debut. The production would find a home at the Uris Theatre on Broadway opening on September 25, 1976. The production was finally restored and accepted for its original genre the Gershwin's desired, an opera. Porgy and Bess would go on to win the first Tony Award for an Opera thanks to the Houston Grand Opera return to the original as well as a Grammy Award.
The 2011 -2012 production of Porgy and Bess Broadway once again makes some changes and reworks the original concept. Director Diane Paulus insists the changes are to help the production find a place in more contemporary times. The current production began its run at the American Repertory Theater (ART) in Cambridge, Massachusetts. The creative team tweaked the plot, dialogue and score. The production has been in previews since December 1012 with an official opening night scheduled for January 2012. Audience and critical response have been mixed overall. Now is the chance to catch a classic work by Broadway legends! You can view our selection of Porgy and Bess Broadway tickets online by clicking the link.
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