PORGY AND BESS National Tour Set for Limited Run at Belk Theater, July 15-20, 2014

The National Tour of THE GERSHWINS' PORGY AND BESS, winner of the 2012 Tony Award for Best Musical Revival, announces the complete cast for the tour launch at San Francisco's Golden Gate Theatre this November. The show plays in Charlotte July 15-20, 2014 in Belk Theater at Blumenthal Performing Arts Center.

Joining previously announced Nathaniel Stampley as Porgy and Alicia Hall Moran as Bess will be 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 includes 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.

"Every so often a project comes along that is so astonishing that one has to drop everything and just say I'm going to do it. That's what I felt when I was asked to doThe Gershwins' Porgy and Bess," said Tony Award-winning director Diane Paulus. "The epic sweep of the story, the immense history of the musical itself and the unforgettable Gershwin score, highlighted by 'Summertime,' 'I Got Plenty of Nothing' and 'It Ain't Necessarily So' make this unquestionably one of the greatest American masterpieces."

The tour will travel to over 20 cities in its first season, including:

THE GERSHWINS' PORGY AND BESS 2013-2014 Touring Route

San Francisco, CA 11/10/13 - 12/8/13 The Golden Gate Theatre

Dallas, TX 12/10/13 - 12/22/13 Winspear Opera House

Washington, DC 12/25/13-12/29/13 The National Theatre

West Palm Beach, FL 1/7/14 - 1/12/14 Kravis Center for the Perf. Arts

Tampa, FL 1/14/14 - 1/19/14 Straz Center for the Perf. Arts

Naples, FL 1/21/14-1/26/14 Artis-Naples

Greenville, SC 1/28/14 - 2/2/14 The Peace Center

Cleveland, OH 2/4/14 - 2/16/14 PlayhouseSquare

Philadelphia, PA 2/18/14 - 2/23/14 Academy of Music

Pittsburgh, PA 2/25/14 - 3/2/14 Benedum Center

Detroit, MI 3/4/14 - 3/9/14 The Opera House

Buffalo, NY 3/11/14 - 3/16/14 Shea's Performing Arts Center

East Lansing, MI 3/18/14 - 3/23/14 Wharton Center

St. Paul, MN 3/25/14 - 3/30/14 Ordway Center

Des Moines, IA 4/1/14 - 4/6/14 Des Moines Civic Center

Las Vegas, NV 4/15/14 - 4/20/14 The Smith Center

Los Angeles, CA 4/22/14 - 6/1/14 Ahmanson Theatre

Tempe, AZ 6/3/14 - 6/8/14 ASU Gammage

Seattle, WA 6/11/14 - 6/29/14 The 5th Avenue Theatre

Charlotte, NC 7/15/14 - 7/20/14 Belk Theater

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 choreographerRonald K. Brown, set designer Riccardo Hernandez, costume designer ESOSA, lighting designer Christopher Akerlind, sound designerACME Sound Partners, music supervisor CONSTANTINE KITSOPOULOUS, and music director/conductor Dale Rieling.

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 Pippinand 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.

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