Audra has been my role model since I was 12 years old. Now graduated from college with a degree in vocal performance I see Audra as a mentor and the perfect example of a performer who LIVES the character. Porgy and Bess was stunning! Norm Lewis, Phillip Boykin, Roosevelt Credit, the entire cast was stunning. Every single person brought their character to life. Porgy and Bess is a MUST-SEE show on Broadway! It really doesn't get any better than that! Truly an incredible performance!Valerie Salcedo | Fresno, California
This has been one of my favorite love stories since I first saw the movie as a child. I just purchased tickets and can't wait to see the show. i love Audra McDonald. My husband played the role of Porgy in a collaboration with PHILADANCO and the Philadelphia Orchestra in the 70's and we are so excited to see the show (9/22) for my 50th birthday celebration.Andrea Washington | Philadelphia, PA
My wife and I knew we were in for something special after the first number. This is one of the most talented ensembles we've seen in a very long time. The acting was superb and they all sang like angels. We were both moved to tears. Incredible!Steve G. | Sedona, AZ
I thought I "knew" this opera. Boy, was I wrong. Audra McDonald and Norm Lewis have uncovered so much depth, nuance, and emotion in these characters that I never realized could be there.
I don't usually get teary-eyed at the theatre--am I a jaded New Yorker?--but hearing Audra and Norm's rendition of "Bess You is My Woman Now" was pretty darn close to waterworks. Thank you thank you thank you for a great evening.
I came to NYC from South Dakota -- for the weekend -- JUST to see Porgy and Bess. I have loved Audra McD for years and believe her voice to be one of the truly great voices of the modern theater! The production exceeded all my HIGH expectations. It is thrilling -- every minute is gripping with emotion and the cast is uttterly convincing. I winced with every step Porgy took and could not get over the depth of Audra's performance. She is a "Bess for the Ages". Every scene was gloriously played even when the content was so tragic!The unspoken but utterly present mood of 1930's racism was palpable but the loving community and even more compelling antidote. I felt the audience was totally engaged and the pauses, even 'boos' for Crown and the cops during the curtain call validates the believability of the performances. This show has made me vow to attend a Broadway play every time I visit my son in NYC. Bravo times 10,000.Karen Miller | Rapid City, South Dakota
Through-and-through an awe inspiring experience. This show is the epitome of shear artistry, talent and years of dedication. I was moved while watching it and every sound that was sung, played, and even spoken by the cast resonated in my skin. This show has revitalized my love for Broadway and classical theatre. Not to mention, the beauty that is Audra MacDonald is unforgettable. It was a true dream to see perform live!Fatima | Long Island
I thought the show was fabulous. I waited outside to get autographs, even sang "My Man's Gone Now". Found out that Norm and I have had the same accompanist in North Carolina, Richard Wall. It was refreshing, and satisfying and I felt very proud.Denise Payton | Fayetteville, North Carolina
The show was everything and more than I had seen in theatre for a long while. the set, lightning, and staging, was marvellous. I lived on Catfish Row for the duration of the play, the degree of talent on the stage was staggering and 4 extra curtain calls for to Porgy and Bess
Absolutely the mosr enthralling stage production we've ever seen in five decades of attending shows.Katharine English | Salt Lake City ,utah
Without doubt the most beautiful and the most moving show I have ever seen.The Gershwin score is timeless genius. The performances were sensational.(3pm Sunday May 6th)Catherine Eccleston | Formby Liverpool UK
I'll follow Audra McDonald anywhere she goes, and so I went to see PORGY AND BESS. She is, of course, stunning. But I was so grateful to also discover Joshua Henry and Nikki Renee Daniels, who were simply incredible as Jake and Clara! The whole cast is great, but these two really stood out to me for their well-sung and perfectly-acted performances. What an incredible night at the theatre this was. Congratulations all!Ryan P. | Bowie, MD
I knew some of the songs from PORGY AND BESS from high school choir and was excited to hear them sung by such incredible performers as Audra McDonald and Norm Lewis, but I had no idea what the story was when I went in to see it. I was surprised to find that the plot line devastatingly and beautifully emotional, which was, of course, supported every step of the way by the soaring score and luscious voices. I *felt* for these characters in a way that is rare, but is the reason I keep going back to the theater. I see now that there is more than one reason that this is an American classic and highly recommend it to anyone looking for a true journey in their theatrical experience. Don't miss it!Katie | Somerdale, NJ
I saw Porgy and Bess, for the first time EVER, today as a birthday gift from my Nana. The voices, the moves, the comedy, the heart, the drama, the redemption, and the arms (lol) were worth every chill and every tear! I am forever in love with #porgyandbess
This production was a revelation. Beautifully directed, stellar ensemble, thrilling choreography.Emily Ernst | New York
Tears were streaming down my face from the first note. The music is immensely powerful, and the performances of Audra McDonald, Norm Lewis, David Alan Grier, Phillip Boykin, and the rest of the cast are unlike anything I've seen before. If you only make it to one Broadway show this season, make it Porgy and Bess.Rachel E | New York City
This show has everything going for it; the voices, the score, the actors, the choreography, the set, the lights....everything blends together to become an amazing production. The chemistry between Norm Lewis and Audra McDonald is phenomenal which just makes their performances that much stronger. David Alan Grier shines with his thorough characterization of his role, Sportin' Life. Overall, I was impressed and the experience flew by.Alexandra | Long Island, NY
I got to this show 3/23. It was my first show to see on Broadway and it was the best 2 and a half hours of my life! While I was originally there for Audra, EVERY member of the cast gave a STUNNING and heart-warming and stopping performance. I am so excited for the album and I am BEGGING for the release of a DVD. This show has by far been the best show I've ever seen and I would hate to never see it again.Jesse | Yorktown
I LOVES YOU, PORGY (AND BESS)!!! We really enjoyed seeing this show last night and recommend it to all our friends. It is first-rate theatre with a wonderful ensemble cast led by Audra McDonald (Bess), Norm Lewis (Porgy), David Alan Grier (Sportin' Life), and Phillip Boykin (Crown), all of whom were magnificent. We especially loved the characters played by Nikki Renee Daniels (Clara), Joshua Henry (Jake), NaTasha Yvette Williams (Mariah) and Bryonha Marie Parham (Serena). I have not gotten so emotionally involved while in the audience for a really long time - the show was mesmerizing and I'd actually go back and see it again - yeah, it was THAT good!! Do not miss PORGY AND BESS!Susan Fontana | Piscataway, NJ
America's opera has become America's musical. From the first note to the last, from the supporting cast to the leads, this show dazzles with an emotional intensity that I have not found in a half-century of going to the theater.
I want to mention all the performers' names, not only for their transcendent voices but for their electrifying dancing and magnetic acting as well.
Early in the two-and-a-half hour play, Nikki Renee Daniels as Clara sings "Summertime" and is joined by Joshua Henry as Jake. At that moment, I thought can this show get any more magical? But when Bryonha Marie Parham as Serena breaks my heart singing "My Man's Gone Now," I felt that if I had walked out then I would have gotten enough for the price of admission. But things were just warming up. Audra McDonald as Bess and Norm Lewis as Porgy are great together and on their own, Ms. McDonald creates magic in "I Wants You Porgy," seizing the raw essence of her character in her closing stanza like no other performance I've seen on stage. Mr. Lewis shines in "I Got Plenty of Nothing." David Alan Grier devilishly reinvents Sportin' Life, hitting the high notes--both literally and figuratively--in "It Ain't Necessarily So" and "There's a Boat Leaving Soon for New York." Philip Boykin commands the stage as Crown, overwhelming everyone around him, making his power over Bess apparent from the start, climaxing in his reappearance on stage in Act Two. I left this play emotionally drained but feeling better for it.
Without question, for its drama, singing, and orchestration, "Porgy and Bess" is the work of this century, and a stunning acknowledgment of the "Porgy and Bess" of the last century. Great work, director Diane Paulus, book adapter Suzan-Lori Parks, and music adapter Diedre Murray. May both works live harmoniously to the next century.
I saw the March 3rd performance. The amount of talent in this production is staggering! The acting was superb! I found myself crying so often throughout the show because the performances touched me so. I've been a huge fan of Audra McDonald for awhile. She, Norm Lewis and the entire cast were divine. I have urged all my friends to see it. I want the world to see it and hope it comes to Great Performances on PBS.Mary Robinson | Teaneck, NJ
The stunning cast leads the audience through the emotional story of Porgy and Bess. Audra McDonald and Norm Lewis are a mesmorizing duo, coupled by Joshua Henry's and Nikki Renee Daniels' radiant performances. The brilliant cast marvelously presents this classic opera.Laura | McLean, VA
Saw the production in Cambrige at ART. What a joy! My heart filled the moment the orchestra played the first note, and I was enthralled until the final curtain call. I made the trip all the way from Houston just to see Audra McDonald. She was everything I had hoped for, but I was blown away by the rest of the cast and the production. It is sublime!Russell Sanders | Houston, TX
Just saw this 3/16 and it was one of the most beautiful, amazing performances I have ever seen. Norm Lewis is triumphant and there is so much incredible talent in the cast. Joshua Henry's voice gave me goosebumps and Bryonha Marie Parham's "My Man's Gone Now" was heartbreaking. I agree with everything Tim Conner said. What a show!Matthew Warren | Atlanta
Talk about going to the basics in terms of Musical theatre/opera. Each moment was executed perfectly and beautifully. Norm Lewis and Audra McDonald was beyond beautiful and astonishing in their performance. Their chemistry on stage created sparks, supernovas. The entire cast contributed amazingly and told the story with dignity. Everyone was into the moment of each scene and brought the passion as it went on. This is why people go to theatre to see musicals like Porgy and Bess.Michael | Hackensack, NJ
The actors bring every emotion you have to the forefront of your experience. This was a timeless tale with exquisite music, a beautiful story, and raw talent -- a triple threat! Audra McDonald and Norm Lewis were on fire, what a pair. This was a beautiful story, beautifully told, wonderfully acted, and exquisitely staged, about human frailty.Mindy | New York, NY
As I watched Norm Lewis and Audra McDonald perform, I thought, "This is why I go to the theater." They are magnificent. The whole cast gives 200 percent. I didn't want it to end. Thanks for a wonderful experience.Stephanie | Brooklyn
Every so often a a show comes along that, in the truest sense of the phrase, is life-enhancing. This production of Porgy and Bess is one such show.
The inspired new Broadway production is dramatically thrilling and musically ravishing. How incredible to hear this score and story conveyed with such touching sincerity and respect for the huge heart and spirit of the piece.
I loved it so much that I booked two more visits before flying home to London (I am now rather poor). But this interpretation is so beautifully crafted that each viewing revealed deeper layers in the tremendous performances, terrific staging, nuanced new dialogue (at last, the story makes sense and is achingly romantic to boot!) and exquisite orchestrations.
Words don't cut it with an experience this great. I wouldn't have missed it for the world.
I have worked in theater for many years and I have seen way to many shows but this was by far one of those experiences in your lifetime where you are just blown away by the talent and the work that you are seeing in front of you. Every time Audra started to sing I got chills running up and down my spine. I loved every second, moment and beat that Gershwin brothers created in this score and the cast matched it brilliantly. I'd love to go see this show again but at least I can say that I got to see Porgy and Bess with the legendary Audra McDonald.Cynthia Hannon | Astoria, New York
Normally, my drama club, while visiting New York, would've gone to see other big, blockbuster shows. However, I'm so glad that I got to see this show. Such a beautiful story and score. This has the single greatest ensemble that I have ever seen in a musical. Audra is definitely on the path to her fifth Tony Award. God bless.Matt | Sheboygan, WI
I came all the way from the Chicago area to see Porgy and Bess, I knew nothing about it, all I knew is that I wanted to see and hear Audra McDonald sing. I saw a few other musicals when I was in New York, but Porgy and Bess was by far my favorite musical that I saw, I was AMAZED by the talent not only by Audra McDonald and Norm Lewis but by every single cast member. I am telling all my friends to go to New York city and see this thrilling Broadway musical that will blow you away!Andrew Victor Myers | Batavia, IL
I first saw the movie "Porgy & Bess" when I was about 8 years old and from that moment on: the Gershwins were always my favorite and Summertime: my all time favorite song - I truly believe that if the Gershwins were alive today: they would say that what I experienced last night is what they envisioned from the casting to the staging - from my heart and soul, thank you so much - it was probably one of the 5 greatest broadway experiences I have ever had.Stu | New Jersey
When I came to New York I knew I wanted to see a Broadway show, but I didn't know which one. I went to TDF booth and thought this sounded interesting. I was blown away! Audra was amazing. And Norm Lewis was awesome. Definitely recommend.Beth | Ohio
My wife and I saw the show the evening of December 28. I have always loved the music but never seen the show. After seeing this version, I simply can't imagine it being done any better. The leads were absolutely remarkable. It's probably not fair, but Audra McDonald should win her fifth Tony for this. Norm Lewis's performance was emotional and powerful. David Alan Grier was a delight. Really, top to bottom the cast was outstanding. The vocals and the music are simply breathtaking. A real highlight for me was the outstanding choral quality of the ensemble pieces. That is a remarkable accomplishment and very difficult to do with body mikes and stage movement. The choreography was also authentic and joyful. The true testament to the quality of the show is the tears in the eyes of the audiences as they rose to their feet at the end. I have seen over 50 shows on Broadway and the memory of this one will be the one that stays with me.
As to the Sondheim controversy, I really think he got himself worked up over something he read. I hear it's his favorite work, so maybe he was particularly sensitive over the thought of any revision. But in his editorial he said "Perhaps it will be wonderful. Certainly I can't think of no better Porgy than Norm Lewis and no better Bess than Audra McDonald, whose voice is one of the glories of the American Theater." Well Mr. Sondheim, it is wonderful and I really hope you go see it. And to your second point, I couldn't agree more.
Porgy and Bess was unbelievable! I saw the show on Broadway. Audra McDonald and Norm Lewis were absolutely spectacular. I am so glad that I had the privilege of seeing this. What an amazing and timeless show! Is there going to be a cast recording?Pam | San Antonio, TX
I am a huge fan of Audra's and I hae seen her in many of her Broadway shows and in concert. She is giving a career high performance!CJ | Philadelphia
Saw this remarkable show on Broadway this past Saturday 12/17/11 and they called this a preview performance. When people see this show on opening night 1/12/12 until it closes, they will be treated to a night of live theater at its best.Mark | Columbia Heights, MN
Was lucky enough to see this in Boston and already have my tickets for Broadway. People who miss this in NYC will be sorry!Sarah | Boston, MA
Audra McDonald is giving the performance of her career!!! I watched her on Private Practice and saw her in two other musicals. I went with a group to see this at the A.R.T. People here in New York don't know what they're in for!Lavonia | Brooklyn, NY
One of the most amazing things I've ever seen. Saw the show in Cambridge and couldn't believe how polished the production and performances were, even before coming to Broadway.Todd | Cambridge, MA
This is great musical theater. Audra McDonald and Norm Lewis lead a wonderful cast. I left the theater feeling uplifted.Dave | Queens, NY
Took a weekend trip to Boston to see this at the A.R.T. This is a wonderful production of a classic.Maureen | New York, NY