American Playhouse: Season 11, Episode 3

Porgy and Bess (6 Oct. 1993)

TV Episode  -   -  Comedy | Drama
7.3
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Ratings: 7.3/10 from 106 users  
Reviews: 7 user | 4 critic

The story of a disabled beggar in Charleston,S.C. who falls in love with a prostitute, this is the first filmed version of Gershwin's opera which uses Gershwin's own orchestrations and ... See full summary »

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(libretto), (based on the play by), 3 more credits »
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Title: Porgy and Bess (06 Oct 1993)

Porgy and Bess (06 Oct 1993) on IMDb 7.3/10

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Cast

Episode cast overview, first billed only:
Willard White ...
Cynthia Haymon ...
Gregg Baker ...
Cynthia Clarey ...
Marietta Simpson ...
Maria
...
Paula Ingram ...
Harolyn Blackwell ...
Clara (singing voice)
Gordon Hawkins ...
Bruce Hubbard ...
Jake (singing voice)
Barrington Coleman ...
D. Alonzo Washington ...
Johnny Worthy ...
Robbins (singing voice)
Curtis Watson ...
Jim
Mervin Wallace ...
Peter
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Storyline

The story of a disabled beggar in Charleston,S.C. who falls in love with a prostitute, this is the first filmed version of Gershwin's opera which uses Gershwin's own orchestrations and practically all of the music, with only one major cut. Written by Albert Sanchez Moreno

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Comedy | Drama

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Release Date:

6 October 1993 (USA)  »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Bass-baritone Bruce Hubbard appeared as Jake in the Glyndebourne stage production on which this television production is based, but he died suddenly in 1991, so he was not able to appear in this version. Because the original recording of the Glyndebourne production was used, however (instead of having the cast make an all-new recording for the telecast), Hubbard's singing voice is still heard as Jake, while Gordon Hawkins plays the role onscreen and lip-synchs to Hubbard's voice. See more »

Quotes

Detective: Oh, hell, you may as well argue with a parrot. But you'll never break their story.
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Connections

Version of Porgy and Bess (1959) See more »

Soundtracks

The Crap Game
Music by George Gershwin
Lyrics by DuBose Heyward
Sung by Johnny Worthy (dubbing D. Alonzo Washington), Gregg Baker, Cynthia Haymon, Damon Evans,
Cynthia Clarey, Willard White, Barrington Coleman, Mervin Wallace, Marietta Simpson and Chorus
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

Too Many Transitions
23 April 2005 | by (Virginia Beach) – See all my reviews

This starts with what is now called the Black experience. From whatever the reality of that was, we (with the active help of bad blacks) have abstracted a highly romanticized notion, in the same manner we've burdened Native Americans.

From both the real and idealized emerged jazz, the real jazz. That was refined and incubated in the larger society to become the basis of American music. Out of that came Gershwin's music.

On that was built a stage show, an opera. From the opera was extended a TeeVee staging. And from that presentation, we are clearly intended to see the original layer, the real Black experience.

Well, that's a lot of translations, and few of them are done artfully and consciously. What we end up with is a jumble of visions, each coherent but chopped into discrete pits and served up as a stew.

You are forced to focus on any one level, be it the staging, the dive into the idealized society, the music, the performance, the images... The only way in my mind to get the best experience from Porgy is without images, because that's the only presentation that can be conceived and delivered as a coherent thing.

These images, this staging, these evocations of a society are rather clever and are interesting enough to keep your eye occupied. But they cannot engage your imagination.

Ted's Evaluation -- 1 of 3: You can find something better to do with this part of your life.


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