Refashioning 'Porgy and Bess' as a Musical

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Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Audra McDonald and Norm Lewis in The Gershwins’ Porgy and Bess Audra McDonald and Norm Lewis in The Gershwins’ Porgy and Bess (Michael J. Lutch)

Porgy and Bess has returned to Broadway for the first time in many years. The show has probably spent more time in recent decades in the opera house, but this new production is a homecoming, because when Porgy and Bess first appeared in New York in 1935, it was in a Broadway theater.

But the show has undergone some changes – so many that its title is now "The Gershwins’ ‘Porgy and Bess.'" New York Times critic Charles Isherwood talks about the changes onstage and in the orchestra pit, and what about them works and does not work.

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