The True Story of Bess

What the 5th Avenue's Program Notes Fail to Explain About The Gershwins' Porgy and Bess

Comments

1
YES!! "A much better way to handle the name would have been to follow this dialectical move: The original play, like the novel, is Porgy, the opera is Porgy and Bess, and the new adaption should just be Bess."
2
Thank you. This is the only intelligent review I've read about the show I saw at the 5th Avenue Theater. I was perhaps more taken with Nathaniel Stampley than you were. He blew me away. I think we're going to hear a lot more from the man.
3
First time I can ever recall walking out on a production like this before it ended. Stampley aside, a lot of it felt like a combination of a poorly executed 1933 movie and a high school play. My partner agreed. We lasted though most of it, but finally just had to split. We couldn't in good conscience stick around while a typically acquiescing Seattle crowd gave it the obligatory standing ovation.
4
Thanks. I always learn something from you.
5
As we see from this review, "Political Correctness" cuts both ways.
6
Why cant people just enjoy a show for a show witout it being a political, cultural or ethnic event of political correctness. Yes the show was pared down, but given the fact that most of the folks I saw last weekend were quite a bit older, it is highly unlikely they could have have handled a four hour show with an intermission. Heck i couldnt tell you how many folks arrived late but given the troops of late attendees going by, it was quite a bit. Some of the younger attendees were, par the course, on their cell phones texting so i think we can get real that their attention spans were pretty consistent with a gnat on meth. Even with all the rude distractions, I was still able to enjoy the show. The cast was fantastic, the orchestra amazing, and the bar staff and ushers were courteous, professional and friendly. I was able to understand the libretto - one that I have heard many times - which is still relative by todays standards. Kudos to the cast, and 5th Ave for putting on a great show!
7
@5
Why cant people just enjoy a show for a show witout it being a political, cultural or ethnic event of political correctness.
Because assholes like Mudede make it their life's work to do things like write reviews of library architecture suggesting it is meant to evoke "Slave Ships" ...
8
Have to disagree with you this time, Charles. "Porgy & Bess" is one of the great American works of the lyric theater. It's an American OPERA, not a Broadway musical. I've seen several fine productions of this work, both sung & acted brilliantly. It's not a piece that requires or needs "reworking" or "reimagining" to make it appeal to a contemporary audience. It just needs to be sung & staged well. And the only way it MIGHT be 4 hours long in the theater would be if some company had the wherewithal to actually stage the complete score AND include all the intermissions... which NO ONE does today, esp. here in America. If someone thinks Gershwin's opera is too unwieldy or opaque to make a dramatic impact today, why wouldn't they just start again with the original novel and write a new show?