Saturday, November 20, 2004

You've Got a Man Now, Bess! You've Got Porgy!

Last night we saw Porgy and Bess. Its the only opera I've seen thats been in English but at least with the ones in Italian you can read the teleprompter thingy to know everything thats happening. Just in case you've never seen it, here's a brief rundown.

The two main characters are Porgy, a cripple and Bess, a big ho. In fact, if there was a union for such people, Bess would most likely be their advocate. Bess is 'wit' Crown, a big burly dude with a penchant for strong liquor (he says on more than one occasion, 'dis jus' ain't strong enough'). The two of them run around with Sporting Life who can best be described as a dapper drug dealer/pimp who can really dance. He loves tempting people with 'happy dust.'

Crown kills a man and Bess goes to Porgy for refuge. The local women see her for who she is -- basically a cocaine-addicted trick with a heart--but Porgy can't. They fall in love but Bess tearfully explains that Crown has her 'hypnotize' and she'd go back to him if he came for her. Of course he does and Porgy kills him.. When Porgy leaves to identify Crown's body (why?) Bess runs off with Sporting Life to New York.

Porgy has this square skateboard-type platform he rolls around on and it tended to distract from the especially dramatic moments. After it was over, he rolled out for applause and jumped up. I yelled "Hallelujah!" and some people around me gave me dirty looks.

The music was the best part. If you've never heard Gershwin, the man was truly a genius.

No comments: