Tomorrow, Tuesday, March 13, 2012, The Gershwins’ PORGY AND BESS, in partnership with The New York City Department of Education (DOE) and the Office of Arts at the Special Projects at the DOE, will be hosting a kick-off event and announcement of “The George and Ira Gershwin Theatre Education Program” at The Richard Rodgers Theatre.
Dennis M. Walcott, Chancellor of the New York City Department of Education, will join teachers, students and city officials for the 7pm performance. A post-show reception, catered by B. Smith’s, will immediately follow, officially celebrating the exciting program.
“The George and Ira Gershwin Theatre Education Program,” thanks to a generous donation from the families of George and Ira Gershwin, will allow 2,250 high school students from New York City Public Schools to see the show on Wednesday matinees from March through May.
The Gershwins’ PORGY AND BESShas a cast led by four-time Tony Award winner Audra McDonald (Ragtime, “Private Practice”) as Bess, Drama Desk nominee Norm Lewis (Les Misérables, Sondheim on Sondheim) as Porgy and two-time Tony nominee David Alan Grier (Race, “In Living Color”) as Sporting Life. The cast also includes Phillip Boykin as Crown, Nikki Renée Daniels as Clara, Joshua Henry as Jake, Christopher Innvar as Detective, Bryonha Marie Parham as Serena and NaTasha Yvette Williams as Mariah, as well as Sumayya Ali, Allison Blackwell, Roosevelt André Credit, Trevon Davis, Joseph Dellger, Wilkie Ferguson III, Carmen Ruby Floyd, Gavin Gregory, Heather Hill, David Hughey, Andrea Jones-Sojola, Alicia Hall Moran, Cedric Neal, Phumzile Sojola, Nathaniel Stampley, Julius Thomas III, J.D. Webster and Lisa Nicole Wilkerson.
Here’s what critics had to say:
“AN INDISPENSABLE TICKET!
The extraordinary Audra McDonald is, in a word, great.”
-The New York Times
“A Porgy for the 21st century;
A GREAT AMERICAN MUSICAL!”
-Pat Collins, Fox News
“AS RAPTUROUS AS EVER!
Norm Lewis is a revelation.”
“A GORGEOUS VERSION OF THE GERSHWIN MASTERPIECE!”
“DAVID ALAN GRIER IS POSITIVELY RUNYANESQUE AS SPORTING LIFE.”
-New York Magazine
“A LUSCIOUS PIECE OF MUSICAL THEATER!
A gripping, in-your-face, vibrant revival that bursts with fierce immediacy.”
“Powerfully acted and magnificently sung,
‘PORGY AND BESS’ SOARS!
Audra McDonald and Norm Lewis make this a MUST-SEE!”
The classic story by DuBose and Dorothy Heyward is set in Charleston’s fabled Catfish Row, where the beautiful Bess struggles to break free from her scandalous past, and the only one who can rescue her is the crippled but courageous Porgy. Threatened by her formidable former lover Crown, and the seductive enticements of the colorful troublemaker Sporting Life, Porgy and Bess’ relationship evolves into a deep romance that triumphs as one of theater’s most exhilarating love stories.
Following its sold-out world premiere engagement at Boston’s American Repertory Theater, one of Broadway’s most accomplished creative teams, led by Tony-nominated director Diane Paulus(Hair), Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright Suzan-Lori Parks (Topdog/Underdog), and two-time Obie Award-winning composer Diedre L. Murray (Running Man), brings George and Ira Gershwin’s legendary masterwork to the Broadway stage for the first time in more than 35 years.
The creative team also includes choreographer Ronald K. Brown, set designer Riccardo Hernandez, costume designer ESosa, lighting designer Christopher Akerlind and sound designer Acme Sound Partners.
The Gershwins’ PORGY AND BESS is produced on Broadway by Jeffrey Richards, Jerry Frankel, Rebecca Gold, Howard Kagan, Cheryl Wiesenfeld/Brunish Trinchero/Lucio Simons TBC, Joseph and Matthew Deitch, Mark S. Golub & David S. Golub, Terry Schnuck, Freitag Productions/Koenigsberg Filerman, The Leonore S. Gershwin 1987 Trust, Universal Pictures Stage Productions, Ken Mahoney, Judith Resnick, Tulchin/Bartner/ATG, Paper Boy Productions, Christopher Hart, Alden Badway, Broadway Across America, Irene Gandy and Will Trice.
Visit www.porgyandbessonbroadway.com for more information.