After almost three decades,“Porgy and Bess” is coming back to the Upper West Side.
Fascinated by the genesis and spread of jazz, 91-year-old Mildred Kayden conceived of the musical ‘Storyville.’ She talks about the special link between Jews and jazz.
Michael Feinstein was lucky enough to work for George and Ira Gershwin. He talks about the famed brothers and why they hoped ‘Porgy and Bess’ would change the world of theater.
The avowed intention of director Diane Paulus and writer Suzan-Lori Parks in “reimagining” “Porgy and Bess” was to invest the opera with a sensibility that would reach modern audiences and “fully realize the characters.” That is, they hoped to achieve a theatrical authenticity they believed was missing in the original.
Critics have long feuded over the authenticity of George Gershwin’s ‘Porgy and Bess.’ But the original opera is as far from a cheerful minstrel work as it could be, writes Stuart Isacoff.
Stephen Sondheim trashed the revival of Gershwin’s classic. The changes aren’t nearly so drastic as he made out, and Schuyler Velasco says the new production looks just fine.
There is exactly one perceptive sentence of dialogue in “Chasing Heaven,” now playing through August 26 at CSV Flamboyan as part of the 15th Annual New York International Fringe Festival. It comes rather late in the proceedings, when the two main characters, in grudging collaboration on a rewrite of a very familiar-sounding piece of iconic theater, come to an impasse over whether or not to cut a villain dubbed Trout Bait from the revised version. One argues that Trout Bait is a racist and offensive portrayal of Blackness: a lying, gambling boozer. The other points out that, while Trout Bait may be all of those things, the show can’t afford to lose him because “he moves the work along and he gets to sing a lot of great stuff.”