SCENE & HEARD// ‘Porgy And Bess’ Now On BroadwayPublished by Justin D Joseph on Tuesday, January 24, 2012 at 2:27 pm.
The production, which officially opened January 12, stars Audra McDonald and Norm Lewis in the title roles, and comedian David Alan Grier as the drug selling Sportin’ Life, the role made popular by Sammy Davis Jr. in the 1959 film adaptation.
Fans of the original piece will be surprised by various changes to the production. “The Gershwin and Heyward estates have given us the charge to create a version of Porgy and Bess that will have a unique identity as a musical…I am delighted to be working with Suzan-Lori Parks on making the characters in the story more fully realized. With one of the most incredible scores ever written, we want to bring Porgy and Bess to life on the musical stage in a way that feels essential, immediate, and passionate,” said director Diane Paulus.
Parks, best known for writing Topdog/Underdog (which saw success on and off Broadway in 2001 and 2002), concludes “Our approach is fresh and respectful; we’re working to retain all the best-loved elements of the original while crafting a piece that speaks to contemporary audiences.”
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