The national tour of The Gershwins’ Porgy and Bess, winner of the 2012 Tony Award® for Best Musical Revival, will make its Tampa premiere at the David A. Straz, Jr. Center for the Performing Arts’ Carol Morsani Hall on January 14-19, as part of the Bank of American Best of Broadway Tampa Bay series.
Joining Alicia Hall Moran as Bess and Nathaniel Stampley as Porgy will be Alvin Crawford as Crown, Kingsley Leggs as Sporting Life, Sumayya Ali as Clara, Denisha Ballew as Serena, Danielle Lee Greaves as Mariah and David Hughey as Jake. The cast also includes Dan Barnhill, Vanjah Boikai, Adrianna M. Cleveland, Roosevelt André Credit, Cicily Daniels, Dwelvan David, Nkrumah Gatling, Tamar Greene, Nicole Adell Johnson, James Earl Jones II, Quentin Oliver Lee, Cheryse McLeod Lewis, Sarita Rachelle Lilly, Kent Overshown, Chauncey Packer, Lindsay Roberts, Fred Rose and Soara-Joye Ross.
The Gershwins’ Porgy and Bess by George Gershwin, Dubose and Dorothy Heyward, and Ira Gershwin, features one of Broadway’s most accomplished creative teams, led by Tony Award®-winning director Diane Paulus (Pippin, Hair), Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright Suzan-Lori Parks (Topdog/Underdog) and two-time Obie Award-winning composer Diedre L. Murray (Running Man). The creative team also includes choreographer Ronald K. Brown, set designer Riccardo Hernandez, costume designer Esosa, lighting designer Christopher Akerlind, sound designer Acme Sound Partners, music supervisor Constantine Kitsopoulous and music director/conductor Dale Rieling.
Based on DuBose Heyward’s novel Porgy and the play of the same name, which he co-wrote with his wife Dorothy Heyward, the Broadway revival of The Gershwins’ Porgy and Bess is a stunning and stirring new staging with a magnificent 23-piece orchestra, including such legendary songs as “Summertime,” “It Ain’t Necessarily So” and “I Got Plenty of Nothing.” The classic story 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 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 a sold-out engagement as part of the American Repertory Theater at Harvard University’s 2011-2012 season, The Gershwins’ Porgy and Bess moved to the Richard Rodgers Theatre on Broadway for a limited engagement with an official opening on January 12, 2012. After extending the show twice, The Gershwins’ Porgy and Bess closed on September 23, 2012 after 322 performances, making it the longest running production of The Gershwins’ Porgy and Bess to ever play Broadway. The 2012 Broadway cast recording of The Gershwins’ Porgy and Bess is now available on PS Classics and can be purchased at psclassics.com.
Porgy and Bess first premiered at the Colonial Theatre in Boston on September 30, 1935. Broadway performances followed featuring a cast of classically trained African-American singers — a daring and visionary artistic choice at the time. This new adaptation of The Gershwins’ Porgy and Bess was specifically created for Broadway and features a revised book in a musical theater format and jazz-oriented musical arrangements.
For more information, visit porgyandbessthemusical.com.
The Gershwins’ Porgy and Bess will play Carol Morsani Hall, January 14-19. Performances are Tuesday – Thursday at 7:30 p.m., Friday at 8 p.m., Saturday at 2 and 8 p.m. and Sunday at 2 and 7:30 p.m. Regularly priced tickets are $46.50-$81.50 and may be purchased by calling (813) 229-STAR (7827) or (800) 955-1045 outside Tampa Bay, in person at the Straz Center Ticket Office or online at strazcenter.org. For more information about the David A. Straz, Jr. Center for the Performing Arts and its upcoming events, please visit strazcenter.org.
On Wednesday, January 15, a talk-back with artists from the company will be held in the theater following the show.