'Porgy and Bess' Runs at Golden Gate Theatre

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 (Photo: Jeremy Daniel)

The opera "Porgy and Bess" premiered on stage in 1935 as one of the first productions to feature an all-African-American cast. George and Ira Gershwin wrote the music and lyrics to the story by DuBose Heyward, about the love between a crippled man and a drug-addicted woman in the poverty-stricken neighborhood of Catfish Row in South Carolina. The show was later criticized as racist, and has been readapted for modern audiences, most recently by director Diane Paulus. We discuss the history of "Porgy and Bess" and the current run of the Paulus version at the Golden Gate Theatre in San Francisco through December 8.


Harry Elam, vice provost of undergraduate education and Olive H. Palmer professor of the humanities at Stanford University

Ellen Noonan, historian and media producer at the American Social History Project / Center for Media Learning at The City University of New York (CUNY) and author of "The Strange Career of Porgy and Bess"