Rufus Bonds Jr., Phillip Boykin, Nicola Hughes, Sharon D. Clarke to Star in Porgy and Bess at London's Open Air Theatre

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19 Feb 2014

Phillip Boykin
Phillip Boykin
Photo by Joseph Marzullo/WENN

Broadway actors Rufus Bonds Jr. and Tony nominee Phillip Boykin will star in a new production of Porgy and Bess at London's Open Air Theatre; performances will begin July 17, prior to an official opening July 28, for a run through Aug. 23. They will respectively play Porgy and Crown, joined by the West End actors Nicola Hughes as Bess and Sharon D. Clarke as Mariah.

Bonds. Jr has appeared in The Color Purple (U.S. national tour), Disney's The Lion King (U.S. national tour) and the original Broadway production of Parade, for which he was nominated for the Drama Desk Award for Outstanding Featured Actor in a Musical.

Boykin will reprise the role of Crown in Porgy and Bess, in which he made his Broadway debut and for which he received Tony, Drama Desk and Outer Critics Circle nominations in the 2012 production. Regional U.S. credits include Show Boat, Jesus Christ Superstar and Ain't Misbehavin'.

Hughes revisits the role of Bess for which she was previously Olivier-nominated for in a 2006 West End production directed by Trevor Nunn. She was last seen on the London stage in The El Train at Hoxton Hall. Other theatre credits include The Color Purple (Menier Chocolate Factory), Fosse (Prince of Wales Theatre) and Velma Kelly in Chicago (Adelphi Theatre).

D. Clarke has been Olivier-nominated twice. Her extensive credits include Once on this Island (Royalty Theatre), We Will Rock You (Dominion Theatre), Ghost (Piccadilly Theatre) and The Amen Corner (National Theatre).

The production will be directed by Timothy Sheader, with a book adapted by Suzan-Lori Parks and a musical score adapted by Diedre L. Murray. The set and costume will be designed by Katrina Lindsay; choreography will be by Liam Steel.

To book tickets, and for further details, visit www.openairtheatre.com.