Plenty O' Somethin': London Porgy and Bess Coming to Broadway

News   Plenty O' Somethin': London Porgy and Bess Coming to Broadway Trevor Nunn's production of The Gershwins' Porgy and Bess, now at the Savoy Theatre in London's West End, will arrive on Broadway during the 2007-08 season, a U.S. rep for the production has confirmed.
Cornell S. John and Nicola Hughes in Porgy and Bess.
Cornell S. John and Nicola Hughes in Porgy and Bess. Photo by Tristram Kenton

The producing team will be the same as it is in London: Richard Frankel, Tom Viertel, Steven Baruch, Marc Routh, Howard Panter for Ambassador Theatre Group and Tulchin/Bartner Productions. Casting and specific dates have not been announced. The London production, which began previews Oct. 25, and opened Nov. 9, has extended its run through Oct. 27, 2007.

Porgy and Bess was last on Broadway in 1976, when it played 122 performances. It was only Jack O'Brien's second Broadway assignment as a director. O'Brien directed it again at Radio City Music Hall in 1983.

In London, Clark Peters and Nicola Hughes, who co-starred in Simply Heavenly, play the title roles in Nunn's two-and-a-half-hour reworking of the classic musical.

London casting for the other principal roles includes Cornell John (Les Miz) as Crown, Dawn Hope (Simply Heavenly) as Serena and O-T Fagbenle (Six Degrees of Separation) as Sportin' Life.

Porgy and Bess features some of the greatest songs in musical theatre, including "Summertime," "I Got Plenty O' Nothin'" and "It Ain't Necessarily So." The show premiered on Oct. 10, 1935, at New York's Alvin Theatre. With a score by George Gershwin, lyrics by his brother Ira and a book by DuBose Heyward, Porgy and Bess was based on Dubose and Dorothy Heyward's novel "Porgy."

Set in the fictional Catfish Row, SC, the show was the first time the musical form attempted to reflect the African-American working-class experience. Since its premiere, the show has attained opera status.

Nunn's £3 million (about $5.5 million) production features a 40-strong cast and a 20-piece orchestra.

For more information about the London run of The Gershwins' Porgy and Bess call (0)870 164 8787 visit www.porgyandbess.co.uk.

The company of <i>Porgy and Bess</i>.
The company of Porgy and Bess. Photo by Tristram Kenton