PORGY AND BESS National Tour Earns Highest-Grossing Week in Charlotte
The National Tour of THE GERSHWINS' PORGY AND BESS, winner of the 2012 Tony Award for Best Musical Revival, ends on a high note grossing $1,030,014 for the week closing July 20, 2014, making it the highest-grossing week on the tour. More than 15,000 people attended the show in Charlotte.
"THE GERSHWINS' PORGY AND BESS blew our audiences away during its one-week run in Belk Theater," said Tom Gabbard, Blumenthal Performing Arts President and CEO. "It was exciting to see Charlotte embrace the amazing new production of this classic story. We strive to present high quality shows such as PORGY AND BESS and we are proud to give the tour the best farewell possible as it comes to a close. We congratulate all the members of the cast, creative and producing team on this exceptional production."
The National Tour of THE GERSHWINS' PORGY AND BESS played 21 cities across nine months. Blumenthal was a co-producer of the national tour.
THE GERSHWINS' PORGY AND BESS by GEORGE GERSHWIN; DUBOSE and DOROTHY HEYWARD; and IRA GERSHWIN features one of Broadway's most accomplished creative teams, led by Tony Award-winning director DIANE PAULUS (Pippin, Hair); Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright SUZAN-LORI PARKS (Topdog/Underdog); and two-time Obie Award-winning composer DIEDRE L. MURRAY (Running Man). The creative team also includes choreographer RONALD K. BROWN; set designer RICCARDO HERNANDEZ; costume designer ESOSA; lighting designer CHRISTOPHER AKERLIND; sound designer ACME SOUND PARTNERS; wig, hair and makeup designers, J.JARED JANAS and ROB GREENE; music supervisor CONSTANTINE KITSOPOULOUS, orchestrators WILLIAM DAVID BROHN and CHRISTOPHER JAHNKE, and music director/conductor DALE RIELING.
The cast featured NATHANIEL STAMPLEY as Porgy, ALICIA HALL MORAN as Bess, ALVIN CRAWFORD as Crown, KINGSLEY LEGGS as Sporting Life, SUMAYYA ALI as Clara, DENISHA BALLEW as Serena, DANIELLE LEE GREAVES as Mariah and DAVID HUGHEY as Jake.
The cast also included DAN BARNHILL, VANJAH BOIKAI, ADRIANNA M. CLEVELAND, ROOSEVELT ANDRÉ CREDIT, CICILY DANIELS, DWELVAN DAVID, NKRUMAH GATLING, TAMAR GREENE, NICOLE ADELL JOHNSON, JAMES EARL JONES II, QUENTIN OLIVER LEE, CHERYSE McLEOD LEWIS, SARITA RACHELLE LILLY, KENT OVERSHOWN, CHAUNCEY PACKER, LINDSAY ROBERTS, FRED ROSE and SOARA-JOYE ROSS.
Based on DuBose Heyward's novel "Porgy" and the play of the same name, which he co-wrote with his wife Dorothy Heyward, the Broadway revival of THE GERSHWINS' PORGY AND BESS is a stunning and stirring new staging with a magnificent 23-piece orchestra, including such legendary songs as "Summertime," "It Ain't Necessarily So," and "I Got Plenty of Nothing." The classic story 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.
Before presenting the world premiere production of THE GERSHWINS' PORGY AND BESS during its 2011/12 season the American Repertory Theater at Harvard University first produced the groundbreaking immersive theater event Sleep No More in an empty school in Brookline, MA and developed Once the Musical in its club theater venue OBERON. This past season the A.R.T. went on to mount the world premiere engagements of the 2013 Tony Award-winning revival of Pippin and the critically acclaimed, upcoming Broadway revival of The Glass Menagerie starring Cherry Jones, Zachary Quinto, Celia Keenan-Bolger and Brian J. Smith. Following its sold-out engagement at A.R.T., THE GERSHWINS' PORGY AND BESS moved to the Richard Rodgers Theatre on Broadway for a limited engagement with an official opening on January 12, 2012. After extending the show twice, THE GERSHWINS' PORGY AND BESS closed on September 23, 2012 after 322 performances, making it the longest running production of PORGY AND BESS to ever play Broadway. The 2012 Broadway Cast Recording of THE GERSHWINS' PORGY AND BESS is now available on PS Classics.
PORGY AND BESS first premiered at the Colonial Theatre in Boston on September 30, 1935. Broadway performances followed featuring a cast of classically trained African-American singers - a daring and visionary artistic choice at the time. This new adaptation of THE GERSHWINS' PORGY AND BESS was specifically created for Broadway and features a revised book in a musical theatre format and jazz-oriented musical arrangements.