ROBIN’S SHOW RECOMMENDATION: PORGY AND BESS
The Gershwins’ PORGY AND BESS, now playing at the Richard Rodgers Theatre, begins with the sounds of a first time mother singing a lullaby to her new born baby, and the show is a wonderful example of the power of “it takes a village to raise a child”….as you witness the women of Catfish Row showing love and support for each other.
Off stage on a personal level, a number of the powerful and talented women in the company of The Gershwins Porgy and Bess are full time mothers, while pursuing their craft…..an impressive feat in itself. Some of the mothers in the show include NaTasha Yvette Williams (her twins actually played the baby in the production during its run at the American Repertory Theatre), and Alicia Hall Moran (twin 4 year old boys) Andrea Jones (pictured with her daughter Zani), Tony-Award winning star Audra McDonald is a mom who commutes and Suzan-Lori Parks (Pulitzer Prize winning playwright) is adopting a son is a part of the commitment to working-motherhood, joyously, comes from the top. Diane Paulus (Porgy and Bess director) says:
One of the great joys of working in the theater for me is that I can share my work with my children. My two daughters know everything about what I do — they come to rehearsals, watch performances, and know their way around backstage. As a director, I always encourage a family atmosphere in
rehearsal. I appreciate how hard it is to juggle work and kids, so I always want to support their effort. In Porgy and Bess, the show is about community — so it was only natural to embrace the extended family of our cast, which included many working parents with kids.
The show features Audra McDonald as Bess, Norm Lewis as Porgy and David Alan Grier as Sporting Life, Phillip Boykin as Crown, Nikki Renée Daniels as Clara, Joshua Henry as Jake, Bryonha Marie Parham (Serena) NaTasha Yvette Williams ( Mariah), and Christopher Innvar (Detective). Other cast members include Sumaya Ali, Allison Blackwell, Roosevelt André Credit, Trevon Davis, Joseph Dellger, Wilkie Ferguson, Carmen Ruby Floyd, Gavin Gregory, Heather Hill, David Hughey, Andrea Jones-Sojola, Alicia Hall Moran, Cedric Neal, Phumzile Sojola, Nathaniel Stampley, Julius Thomas III, J.D. Webster and Lisa Nicole Wilkerson.
The Gershwins’ PORGY AND BESS features such legendary songs as “Summertime,” “It Ain’t Necessarily So,” and “I Got Plenty Of Nothing. The score is spectacular, and the performances outstanding. This show is a classic masterpiece on many levels….and what a pleasure to see a Broadway musical with a story that packs a punch. Emotional depth, action, suspense…a truly memorable experience.
The show is at the Richard Rodgers Theatre (226 West 46th Street, between 8th Avenue and Broadway). Tickets are now on sale at Ticketmaster.com or by calling 877-250-2929.