The long-awaited American Repertory Theater production of The Gershwins’ Porgy and Bess has opened and the reviews are coming in. The critics are unanimous in their praise for Audra McDonald, who has set a new standard for this iconic leading lady of American opera.
“Ms. McDonald is Bess (or to use the hyperbolic speech of movie ads, ‘Audra McDonald Is Bess’),” exclaims New York Times theater critic Ben Brantley, “and she can claim rights to full possession of her role, the kind of ownership that transforms a classic character forever … Ms. McDonald’s performance is as complete and complex a work of musical portraiture as any I’ve seen in years. A four-time Tony winner for her work in both musicals and plays, Ms. McDonald combines the skills of a great actress and a great singer to stride right over any perceived gaps between the genres of musical and opera.”
The Boston Globe‘s Don Aucoin says that “in Audra McDonald, this production boasts a Bess for the ages,” citing, for example, her duet with Lewis on “Bess, You Is My Woman Now,” which he calls “a thing of beauty to watch and to hear.”
“McDonald gives a stunning perf [sic].” Variety
Audra McDonald performs at Vancouver’s Orpheum Theatre on Tuesday, October 11. Avoid ticket surcharges when you book through Cory at the Vancouver Recital Society: 604-602-0363.