Majority of A.R.T. Cast Expected for Broadway Engagement of The Gershwins' Porgy and Bess
By Adam Hetrick
Playbill.com has learned that the cast of the American Repertory Theater premiere of The Gershwins' Porgy and Bess will repeat their work in the Broadway production, which will debut Dec. 17 at the Richard Rodgers Theatre.
At this time, producers have only confirmed the casting of four-time Tony Award winner Audra McDonald (Ragtime, Marie Christine, Master Class) as Bess, Norm Lewis (Sondheim on Sondheim, Side Show, Les Miserables) as Porgy and Tony Award nominee David Alan Grier (The First, Race, Dreamgirls) as Sportin' Life.
Also expected to return for the limited Broadway engagement are Tony nominee Joshua Henry (The Scottsboro Boys, American Idiot) as Jake, 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.
The A.R.T. ensemble included Allison Blackwell, Roosevelt Andre Credit, Trevon Davis, Joseph Dellger, Wilkie Ferguson, Alicia Hall Moran, Andrea Jones-Sojola, Lisa Nicole Wilkerson and Christopher Innvar.
Representatives for the production declined to comment on full Broadway casting.
Porgy and Bess began previews Aug. 17 at A.R.T., where it officially opened Aug. 31 and played an extended run through Oct. 2.
Tony Award-nominated director Diane Paulus (Hair) helms the production which has adaptation and additional scenes by Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright Suzan-Lori Parks (Topdog/Underdog, Book of Grace) and musical adaptation by Pulitzer Prize nominee Diedre Murray (Running Man).
Porgy and Bess has music by George Gershwin, lyrics by his brother Ira and a book and additional lyrics by DuBose Heyward. It is based on the play Porgy, by DuBose and Dorothy Heyward.
The revised staging of the four-hour folk opera has been contoured into a two-and-a-half-hour production. It is now billed as a musical.
The creative team includes choreographer Ronald K. Brown, set designer Riccardo Hernandez, costume designer Emilio Sosa and Tony Award-winning lighting designer Christopher Akerlind. Acme Sound Partners will design sound. Orchestrations are by William David Brohn and Christopher Jahnke, with music supervision by David Loud.
For tickets, visit Ticketmaster.com. The Richard Rodgers Theatre is located at 226 West 46th Street.
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