By Adam Hetrick
18 Jul 2012
|Photo by Michael J. Lutch|
The fresh take on the classic American opera opened Jan. 12 and was originally scheduled to play a limited run through June 24. Strong reviews, and a cast led by Tony Award winner Audra McDonald and Tony nominee Norm Lewis, prompted producers to initially extend the production through July 8 and for a second time through Sept. 30.
Porgy and Bess will now end its run Sept. 23 at the Richard Rodgers Theatre after 322 performances. A yet-to-be-announced production will begin its engagement at the Richard Rodgers Theatre Oct. 4.
Porgy and Bess has music by George Gershwin, lyrics by his brother Ira and a book and lyrics by DuBose Heyward. It is based on the play Porgy, by DuBose and Dorothy Heyward. Tony-nominated Hair director Diane Paulus staged the streamlined production, cut down from its original four-hour running time, to two-and-a-half hours.
Tony nominee Lewis (Sondheim on Sondheim, Side Show, Les Miserables) stars as the crippled beggar Porgy opposite five-time Tony Award winner McDonald (Ragtime, Marie Christine, Master Class) as Bess. They are joined by three-time Tony nominee David Alan Grier (The First, Race, Dreamgirls) as Sportin' Life and Tony nominee Joshua Henry (The Scottsboro Boys, American Idiot) as Jake.
The cast also features Nikki Renee Daniels as Clara, Phillip Boykin as Crown, Bryonha Marie Parham as Serena, NaTasha Yvette Williams as Maria, Cedric Neal as Frazier, J.D. Webster as Mingo, Heather Hill as Lily, Phumzile Sojola as Peter and Nathaniel Stampley as Robbins.
For tickets, visit Ticketmaster.com. The Richard Rodgers Theatre is located at 226 West 46th Street.