George and Ira Gershwin premiered this sprawling opera, based on the novel and subsequent play by DuBose Heyward, in 1935. It was ambitious, clocking in at four hours and blending several different musical styles. The original, rarely produced in full, was richly detailed and inventive. It was also tough to sell. This new adaptation, which won several Tony Awards, was stripped down to its essentials by playwright Suzan Lori-Parks, composer Diedre L. Murray, and director Diane Paulus. The action centers around the fictional Catfish Row, a tenement house inhabited by freed slaves in 1920s Charleston, South Carolina, where the down-on-her-luck Bess takes up with the crippled beggar Porgy despite varying impending disasters.
Jon Robin Baitz's family drama recounts the return home of Brooke Wyeth after a six year absence from her parents' lives, and she's armed with a manuscript of her memoir and the threat of exposing all the dirty secrets her relatives have carefully concealed.