The other night I attended the opening night of The Gershwins’ Porgy and Bess at Center Theatre Group’s downtown Ahmanson Theatre. The very same Broadway production that nabbed the Tony Award for Best Revival of a Musical back in 2012. Being a huge musical aficionado, I’ve always wanted to see a production of Porgy and Bess which was first performed almost eighty years ago back in 1935. With music by the legendary George Gershwin and lyrics by his brother Ira Gershwin, I was fairly familiar with Porgy and Bess (I love “Summertime”) but I had never seen it performed live until now.
I’ve seen a lot of musicals in my day, and I can honestly say this was one of the best I’ve ever seen—I absolutely loved it. The doomed romance (set in the 1920s in Charleston, South Carolina) between Porgy (played by Nathaniel Stampley) and Bess (Alicia Hall Moran) completely captivated me from start to finish. The cast and production are top-notch plus hearing that Gershwin score via a live 23-piece orchestra was just incredible, that score is beyond gorgeous. The Gershwins’ Porgy and Bess is running now through June 1st (get tickets here), this is definitely something that every musical theater fan needs to witness for themselves in person … a classic piece of work that gets to prove itself once again as a true masterpiece with this stunning and award-winning production.
The Gershwins’ Porgy and Bess 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.