Tony Winners McDonald and Mitchell to Celebrate Porgy and Bess at 70

News   Tony Winners McDonald and Mitchell to Celebrate Porgy and Bess at 70
 
Former Ragtime co-stars Audra McDonald and Brian Stokes Mitchell will celebrate the 70th anniversary of Porgy and Bess this summer at the Hollywood Bowl.

The Tony-winning duo will be part of The Gershwin Weekend: Porgy and Bess at 70, two evenings featuring selections from the famed opera. The July 15 and 16 concerts will also boast the Los Angeles Philharmonic under the direction of Leonard Slatkin; show time is 8:30 PM.

Although George and Ira Gershwin wrote Porgy and Bess as a grand opera, it wasn't presented in that manner until more than four decades after its much-cut 1935 Broadway debut. The first full-length mounting was presented by the Houston Grand Opera in 1976. Porgy and Bess features such classic tunes as "I Got Plenty O' Nuttin'," "Bess, You Is My Woman Now," "It Ain't Necessarily So," "There's a Boat Dat's Leavin' Soon for New York" and "Summertime."

A four-time Tony Award winner for her work in A Raisin in the Sun, Master Class, Carousel and Ragtime, Audra McDonald was also on Broadway last season in Henry IV. The singer-actress made her solo Carnegie Hall concert debut in an evening of songs scored for big bands, performing several tunes from her Nonesuch CD "Happy Songs." McDonald's other solo recordings, "Way Back to Paradise" and "How Glory Goes," are also on the Nonesuch label. She also co-starred in the recent NBC series "Mister Sterling.”

Brian Stokes Mitchell earned a Tony nomination for his performance in the title role of Man of La Mancha. He won the 2000 Tony, Outer Critics Circle and Drama Desk awards for his performance as Fred Graham/Petruchio in Kiss Me, Kate, and his other Broadway credits include lead roles in King Hedley II; Ragtime; Kiss of the Spider Woman; Jelly's Last Jam; Oh, Kay!; Mail; and the City Center Encores! presentations of Do Re Mi and Carnival. Television audiences will be familiar with Mitchell's work from his roles on "Trapper John, M.D.," "Roots" and "Frasier." Mitchell was also recently elected the twelfth president of the Actors' Fund of America.

The Hollywood Bowl is located at 2301 N. Highland Avenue in Hollywood, CA. For tickets, call (323) 850-2000. Visit www.hollywoodbowl.org for more information.

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