Skylight Music Theatre presents: The Gershwins’ Porgy & Bess
By George Gershwin, Dubose and Dorothy Heyward, and Ira Gershwin
Stage Direction & Choreography by Bill Theisen
Music Direction by Richard Carsey
Approximate run time is 2 hours and 35 mintues
Hailed as a masterpiece of American Opera and set in Charleston’s fabled Catfish Row, beautiful Bess struggles to break from her scandalous past while Porgy, the crippled beggar, is the only one who can truly rescue her. Threatened by her formidable former lover Crown, and the seductive enticements of the colorful troublemaker Sportin’ Life, Porgy and Bess’ relationship evolves into a deep romance that triumphs as one of theatre’s most exhilarating love stories.
The Gershwins’ Porgy and Bess has been a groundbreaking work ever since its premiere in 1935. With the largest all-black cast ever seen on an American stage up until that point, Porgy and Bess ignited social and racial change as the national tour of 1936 made its way across the country. Most notably when the tour stopped at the still segregated National Theatre in Washington D.C., in which non-white patrons were refused entry. Title role cast members, Todd Duncan and Anne Brown, refused to perform until the theatre relented and allowed whites and blacks to sit side-by-side for the first time in the theatre’s history.