the new york city opera used to have $10 partially obstructed or standing room tickets when i was in medical school. it was there t i first saw “Porgy and Bess” the opera. maybe it was the production itself or because i was still new at appreciating operas, i absolutely hated that performance. that was particularly sad for me because my childhood piano teacher had her students play a lot of gershwin and i can still remember many piano recitals/parties where gershwin was celebrated and enjoyed. but after that dissappointing performance of “porgy and bess” at the NYCO, i shied away from “american” operas for years. as time went on, i started to see more operas and even held season tickets at the SF opera for a couple of years. turns out “american” operas are not bad and i look forward to re-doing my patronage of “porgy and bess”.
but before that day came, i had the chance to see “porgy and bess” the musical as it toured through san francisco in 2013. Alicia Hall Moran and Nathaniel Stampley starred in this Tony award winning revival and i was blown away. The music brought back a lot of nostalgia for me as the music and production were phenomenal. While i would loved to have seen Audra McDonald in her Tony award winning role, Ms. Moran gave an astounding performance.
6 months after this, i got to continue my appreciation of gershwin with a one man musical play called “george gershwin alone”. it was a biography told from george’s point of view of his life, his thoughts, “rhapsody in blue”, and “porgy and bess”. it is a beautiful production and, if they tour near you, you should totally go see this… and “porgy and bess” the musical too!