Phillip Boykin
Phillip Boykin
(© David Gordon)
Following a Tony Award-winning run on Broadway last season, The Gershwins' Porgy and Bess will begin performances for its first national touring season at San Francisco's Golden Gate Theatre on November 10, with an official opening set for November 13. The tour will travel to over 20 cities, including stops in Los Angeles (Ahmanson Theatre), Seattle (5th Avenue Theatre), Dallas (Winspear Opera House), West Palm Beach, Tampa, Naples, Greenville, Cleveland, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, Detroit, Buffalo, East Lansing, St. Paul, Des Moines, Las Vegas, Tempe and Charlotte, with additional cities to be announced.

First performed in 1935, The Gershwins' Porgy and Bess is an American folk opera (music by George Gershwin, libretto by DuBose Heyward, and lyrics by Heyward and Ira Gershwin) that tells the story of Porgy, a crippled African-American beggar living in Charleston, South Carolina, who tries to rescue Bess from her abusive lover, Crown. The score includes some of the Gershwins' most popular melodies, including "Summertime," "It Ain't Necessarily So," and "I Got Plenty of Nothing."

This most recent production premiered at Boston's American Repertory Theater before moving to the Richard Rodgers Theatre on Broadway where it played 322 performances. The production features direction by Diane Paulus (currently nominated for a Tony Award for her direction of Pippin) and an adapted book by Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright Suzan-Lori Parks (Topdog/Underdog) and two-time Obie Award-winning composer Diedre L. Murray (Running Man). The creative team includes choreography by Ronald K. Brown, set design by Riccardo Hernandez, costume design by ESosa, lighting design by Christopher Akerlind, and sound design by Acme Sound Partners.

The upcoming national tour will star Broadway cast members Alicia Hall Moran as Bess, Nathaniel Stampley as Porgy, and Phillip Boykin as Crown. Additional Broadway cast members joining the tour include Sumayya Ali as Clara, Dan Barnhill as the Detective, Bryonha Marie Parham as Serena, Roosevelt André Credit as a Fisherman, and Joseph Dellger as the Policeman. Complete casting will be announced this summer.

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