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.