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 108 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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Won 1 Primetime Emmy. Another 1 win & 3 nominations. See more awards »
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Cast

Episode cast overview, first billed only:
Willard White ...
Cynthia Haymon ...
Gregg Baker ...
Cynthia Clarey ...
Marietta Simpson ...
...
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 ...
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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

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Genres:

Comedy | Drama

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Release Date:

6 October 1993 (USA)  »

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1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

For this production, as well as for the 1986 Glyndebourne stage production on which this is based, director Trevor Nunn decided that it would be more effective to have Porgy walking with the aid of a crutch rather than riding around on a soapbox fitted out with wheels and pulled by a goat, as in all previous productions of the opera. He felt (rightly or wrongly) that this would make Porgy more sexually attractive to Bess. See more »

Quotes

Sportin' Life: [singing to Bess] Picnics is all right for these small town suckers, but we is used to the high life, you know. You an' me, we understands each other. I can't see for the life of me what you is hangin' round this place for. Why, with your looks Bess, and your way with the boys, there's big money for you and me in New York.
Bess: [singing] I can't remember meetin' nuttin' that I likes less than I does you!
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Soundtracks

They Pass By Singin'
Music by George Gershwin
Lyrics by DuBose Heyward
Sung by Willard White
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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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