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Porgy and Bess at the Ahmanson

Porgy and Bess (image)My friend Dennis gifted me with such a treat tonight – a ticket to see Porgy and Bess at the Ahmanson Theater in LA.  The experience made me realize a couple things: 1) I want to make more time to take advantage of the theater scene in LA, and 2) I need a regular weekly “artist’s date” and that starts tonight.  With a couple of exceptions the entire cast was great (I thought a couple of performances were caricatures).  But Nathaniel Stampley (Porgy) was amazing, and I had goosebumps when he sang.  I’ve since learned that this Gershwin opera has such a rich and controversial history… although it was first performed in 1935, it wasn’t considered a legitimate opera until the 70s, and some critics consider it a racist portrayal of African-Americans.  It struck me that with the exception of another black couple (and the cast of course), I was the only African-American in the theater that night.  But I enjoyed it.  I was moved.  I allowed myself to get lost in the richness of the music and the almost tribal choreography.  Good stuff for sure.  More artists dates to come.  I’m considering getting season tickets.

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