By Adam Hetrick
20 Jun 2012
Audra McDonald earned her fifth Tony Award for creating the role of Bess in the streamlined production the Gershwin opera, which received new focus from director Diane Paulus, playwright Suzan-Lori Parks and musical adaptor Diedre Murray. It opened on Broadway Jan. 12 and is playing an extended engagement through Sept. 30.
Moran, who has performed during McDonald's absences, will now play Bess at the 8 PM Wednesday performances of Porgy and Bess, according to the playing schedule on the official website for the production. Porgy and Bess marks Moran's Broadway debut.
Tony Award nominee Norm Lewis (Side Show, Les Miserables) stars as Porgy in a cast that also features Tony nominee David Alan Grier (The First, Race, Dreamgirls) as Sportin' Life, Tony nominee Joshua Henry (The Scottsboro Boys, American Idiot) as Jake, Nikki Renee Daniels as Clara, Phillip Boykin as Crown, Bryonha Marie Parham as Serena, NaTasha Yvette Williams as Maria, Cedric Neal as Frazier, J.D. Webster as Mingo, Heather Hill as Lily, Phumzile Sojola as Peter and Nathaniel Stampley as Robbins.
According to the producers, Porgy and Bess "is set in Charleston’s fabled Catfish Row, where the beautiful Bess struggles to break free from her scandalous past, and the only one who can rescue her is the crippled but courageous Porgy. Threatened by her formidable former lover Crown, and the seductive enticements of the colorful troublemaker Sporting Life, Porgy and Bess’ relationship evolves into a deep romance that triumphs as one of theater’s most exhilarating love stories."
The work includes such songs as "Bess, You Is My Woman Now," "I Loves You, Porgy," "My Man's Gone Now," "There's a Boat That's Leavin' Soon for New York," "Summertime," "I Got Plenty o' Nothin'" and "It Ain't Necessarily So."
For tickets, visit Ticketmaster.com. The Richard Rodgers Theatre is located at 226 West 46th Street.