Summertime celebrated with Porgy and Bess at Open Air Theatre

Porgy and Bess
Porgy and Bess. Photo by Hugo Glendinning.

Temperatures will be soaring this summer for Gershwins’ Porgy and Bess which will run at Regents Park Open Air Theatre from 17 July to 23 August.

The musical is Celebrated as a landmark piece of American theatre with iconic songs including Summertime, I Got Plenty of Nothing, I Loves You Porgy and It Ain’t Necessarily So.

Porgy and Bess will be directed by the theatre’s artistic director Timothy Sheader, with a book adapted by Suzan-Lori Parks and a musical score adapted by Diedre L. Murray.

Drawing on talent from both sides of the Atlantic, Rufus Bonds Jr plays Porgy and Nicola Hughes is Bess, with Phillip Boykin as Crown, Cedric Neal as Sportin’ Life and Olivier Award-winning Sharon D Clarke as Mariah.

Porgy, a crippled beggar, is devoted to taming wild Bess and saving her from a life of ruin.

Yet new beginnings give way to temptation as Bess is haunted by the demons of her past.

Rufus Bonds Jr is an American actor who has appeared in The Color Purple (US National Tour), Disney’s The Lion King (US National Tour) and the original Broadway production of Parade for which he was nominated for the Drama Desk Award for Outstanding Featured Actor in a Musical.

Nicola Hughes revisits the role of Bess following her Olivier Award nominated performance in Trevor Nunn’s 2006 production at the Savoy Theatre.

Her stage credits also include The Color Purple (Menier Chocolate Factory), Fosse (Prince of Wales Theatre / Olivier Award nomination), and Velma Kelly in Chicago (Adelphi Theatre).

Boykin and Neal are reprising roles originally performed in the 2012 Broadway production.

Porgy and Bess is part of the 2014 season at Regents Park Open Air Theatre which ends with a return to last year’s success, To Kill a Mockingbird, from 28 August to 13 September.

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