Posted inTheater Review

Chit-chat on the high wire

In his 1940 memoir, A Smattering of Ignorance, composer-raconteur-pharmaceuticals enthusiast Oscar Levant recalls a train journey he took with his idol, George Gershwin. After offering the talkative Gershwin a sleeping pill (“with the air of a man offering a friend an after-dinner mint”), Levant was mildly surprised that Gershwin commandeered the more comfortable lower berth […]

Posted inArts & Culture

At Court Theatre, it’s Porgy and Bess in Neverland

“The times are here to debunk Gershwin’s lampblack Negroisms,” said Duke Ellington after the 1935 Broadway premiere of Porgy and Bess. Written by a quartet of white people—George and Ira Gershwin, DuBose and Dorothy Hayward—and stuffed with cringe-worthy stereotypes of black ghetto life, the opera focuses on Porgy, a crippled beggar who’s content with “plenty […]