Award-winning “Porgy and Bess” Opera Comes To L.A. Theater

Categories // Entertainment Monday, 07 April 2014

ENTP_PorgyandBess1_0219Heralded by TIME Magazine as “the #1 Broadway Musical of the Year—a don’t miss theatre event,” the Tony Award-winning opera “Porgy and Bess” is making its way to the Los Angeles theatrical arena this month.

The production, called by USA Today “a canny and exuberant re-affirmation of the original’s enduring brilliance,” opens at the Ahmanson Theatre on April 22nd, and runs through June 1st.

The 2014 cast features the critically acclaimed mezzo-soprano singer Alicia Hall Moran as Bess, the Joseph Jefferson Award-winning actor Nathaniel Stampley as Porgy, and the seasoned Broadway actor Alvin Crawford as Crown (“The Lion King,” “Candide,” “Miss Saigon.)”

The story follows the budding romance between Bess, who is shunned by most of her community for her scandalous past, and the disabled and homeless Porgy, who wants to save her from the clutches of her brutish lover, Crown.

Under the direction of Diane Paulus, known for her work on Pippin and Hair, the 2011 iteration of the “Porgy and Bess” opera went on to earn ten Tony nominations, and eventually won for Best Revival of a Musical. While the 2014 play will feature an entirely new cast, Paulus has returned to direct this production.

The “Porgy and Bess” musical is a revival of the original opera written by George and Ira Gershwin, and Dubose and Dorothy Heyward. It first opened in 1935, but wasn’t accepted as a legitimate opera until the Houston Grand Opera produced it in 1976 to critically positive reception.

A best-selling novel published in 1925, the book for “Porgy and Bess” was adapted by Suzan-Lori Parks—a Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright, screenwriter, and winner of the MacArthur Foundation “Genius” Grant;—the musical was scored by Obie Award-winning composer Diedre L. Murray.

Tickets can be purchased at www.centertheatregroup.org

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