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Tony-Award winning "The Gershwins' Porgy and Bess" debuts in LA

The cast of “The Gershwins’ Porgy and Bess” by George Gershwin
The cast of “The Gershwins’ Porgy and Bess” by George Gershwin
CTG/Michael J. Lutch

A packed house in downtown LA discovered first-hand why the latest adaptation of a classic won the 2012 Tony Award for Best Revival of a Musical.

The Gershwins' Porgy and Bess opened at the Ahmanson Theatre in downtown LA on Wednesday night.

Hundreds of people were on hand for opening night. The ovations flowed freely with this crowd-pleasing, toe-tapping version of the Gershwin classic.

While the famous songs such as “Summertime” and “It Ain't Necessarily So” remain a part of this version of the musical, the infusion of jazz and new dance numbers make it a far cry from the original folk opera that George Gershwin created.

This production is directed by Tony Award-winning director Diane Paulus. The book is by Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright Suzan-Lori Parks. Many of the songs are composed by Diedre L. Murray.

The stage-play tells the story of Porgy, a black beggar who lives in the slums of Charleston, South Carolina's Catfish Row. Porgy does his best to rescue Bess from her cycle of falling for abusive men. Once Porgy helps Bess to break free, they fall in love.

The Gershwins' Porgy and Bess ran on Broadway in 2012. With 322 performances, it became the longest running production of “Porgy and Bess” to ever play on Broadway.

You have plenty of chances to catch the production while the tour is here in Los Angeles for the next 5 weeks.

  • The Gershwins' Porgy and Bess
  • now - June 1
  • Ahmanson Theatre
  • 135 N. Grand Ave., downtown LA
  • Ticket prices: $20 - $120
  • Call 213-972-4400 or visit CenterTheatreGroup.org