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<< Entertainment >>

Play Review

Wednesday, 5 March, 2014 10:56 AM

The Gershwins' "Porgy and Bess" is a very good love story

Photo by Michael J. Lutch

The cast of The Gershwins' "Porgy and Bess"

 

by Gloria Rzucidlo
gloria1025@yahoo.com

 

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DETROIT -- George Gershwin composed the music and his brother Ira wrote the lyrics to The Gershwins' "Porgy and Bess," which at first was considered an opera. It is a Tony award-winning musical and the number one musical of the year on Broadway. The Detroit Opera House hosts this musical revival from March 4-9, 2014.

Set in Charleston, South Carolina, in Catfish Row in the 1920's, the scene opens with Clara (Sumayya Ali) and her husband Jake (David Hughey) singing a lullaby to their baby.

In the courtyard, there was gambling in the streets with Porgy (Nathaniel Stampley) a crippled beggar who lived in the slums; Sporting Life (Kingsey Leggs),who was a drug dealer; Crown (Alvin Crawford) who was a drunk and an abusive person; and Bess (Alicia Hall Moran) who was Crown's woman. Porgy wins and Crown gets mad and kills another player. The police arrive and tries to get to the bottom of this. Bess is left standing so Porgy takes her in.

Everyone in Catfish Row attends the funeral but there is no money for his burial. The attendees try to collect money from everyone there and comes up with $15 so Bess convinces the undertaker to accept it.

Sporting Life comes back and tries to push drugs "Happy Dust" on Bess but Porgy protects here. Crown also comes back and is abusive to Bess and she admits to him that she is living with Porgy now. Their relationship develops into a deep romance. But Crown wants her back and claims that Bess is his woman. Porgy stands up to Crown and eventually kills him.

The police arrive again and insist on Porgy identify the body. They wanted him to confess to the murder but he doesn't. So he gets off the hook. After spending the night in prison, Porgy arrives back in Catfish Row looking for Bess. But she is nowhere to be found. The neighbors reveal that she left for New York. Porgy is crushed and leaves for New York to find her.

There were two Acts with a 15-minute intermission. The musical was accompanied by a 23-piece orchestra which performed legendary songs as "Summertime," "It Ain't Necessarily So" and "I Got Plenty of Nothing."

Some of the songs were hard for me to decipher the words when they were singing. However, I thought it was a very good love story, all in all.

OVERALL GRADE: B

Tickets for PORGY AND BESS range from $29 to $87 and are now on sale at all Ticketmaster locations, by phone at 1-800-982-2787, online at www.ticketmaster.com or www.broadwayindetroit.com, at the Fisher Theatre box office and at the Detroit Opera House box office. A limited number of premium seats will be available through Ticketmaster and at the box office. For group sales (12 or more), please email groups@broadwayindetroit.com or call (313) 871-1132. Performance schedule is as follows: Tuesday-Saturday at 8 p.m., Sunday Evening at 7:30 p.m., Matinees on Saturday and Sunday at 2 p.m.

Related Stories: Review: 'Mamma Mia!' is amazing at the Fisher Theatre in Detroit; Review: 'Miss Saigon' Frags Detroit With Pop Opera Glee; Salt Lake City Surprise: 'The Book of Mormon' Thumps The Fisher in Detroit

 


 
Photo by M.J. Lutch

David Hughey as Jake and Sumayya Ali as Clara in the The Gershwins’ "Porgy and Bess."

 

 

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