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Tony Award-Winner “The Gershwins’ Porgy and Bess” Opening Night in Los Angeles

Alvin Crawford (center) and the cast of “The Gershwins’ Porgy and Bess” by George Gershwin, DuBose and Dorothy Heyward, and Ira Gershwin, book adapted by Suzan-Lori Parks and musical score adapted by Diedre L. Murray. Directed by Diane Paulus, “The Gershwins’ Porgy and Bess” previews at the Center Theatre Group/Ahmanson Theatre April 22 and opens April 23. Performances continue through June 1, 2014. For tickets and information, please visit CenterTheatreGroup.org or call (213) 972-4400.  Photo by Michael J. Lutch

Alvin Crawford (center) and the cast of “The Gershwins’ Porgy and Bess” by George Gershwin, DuBose and Dorothy Heyward, and Ira Gershwin, book adapted by Suzan-Lori Parks and musical score adapted by Diedre L. Murray. Directed by Diane Paulus, “The Gershwins’ Porgy and Bess” previews at the Center Theatre Group/Ahmanson Theatre April 22 and opens April 23. Performances continue through June 1, 2014. For tickets and information, please visit CenterTheatreGroup.org or call (213) 972-4400.
Photo by Michael J. Lutch

The Tony Award-winning musical “The Gershwins’ Porgy and Bess” makes its  triumphant debut at the Center Theatre Group/Ahmanson Theatre, opening Wednesday, April 23 at 8 p.m. Performances continue through June 1, 2014. (Preview April 22.)

“The Gershwins’ Porgy and Bess” by George Gershwin, DuBose and Dorothy  Heyward and Ira Gershwin, features one of Broadway’s most accomplished creative teams, led  by Tony Award-winning director Diane Paulus (“Pippin,” “Hair”), Pulitzer Prize-winning
playwright Suzan-Lori Parks (“Topdog/Underdog”), and two-time Obie Award-winning  composer Diedre L. Murray (“Running Man”).

The cast, which includes Nathaniel Stampley and Alicia Hall Moran as Porgy and Bess  (respectively), also features Alvin Crawford as Crown, Kingsley Leggs as Sporting Life, Sumayya Ali as Clara, Denisha Ballew as Serena, Danielle Lee Greaves as Mariah and David  Hughey as Jake.

In addition, the cast includes Dan Barnhill, Vanjah Boikai, Adrianna M. Cleveland, Roosevelt André Credit, Cicily Dainels, Dwelvan David, Nkrumah Gatling, Tamar Greene, Nicole Adell Johnson, James Earl Jones II, Quentin Oliver Lee, Cheryse McLeod Lewis,
Sarita Rachelle Lilly, Kent Overshown, Chauncey Packer, Lindsay Roberts, Fred Rose and  Soara-Joye Ross.

This new adaptation of “The Gershwins’ Porgy and Bess” was specifically created for Broadway and features a revised book in a musical theatre format and jazz-oriented musical arrangements. The classic story is set in Charleston’s fabled Catfish Row, where the beautiful Bess struggles to break free from her scandalous past, and the only one who can rescue her is the courageous Porgy. Threatened by her formidable former lover Crown, and the seductive enticements of the colorful troublemaker Sporting Life, Porgy and Bess’ relationship evolves into a deep romance that triumphs as one of theatre’s most exhilarating love stories. Based on DuBose Heyward’s novel “Porgy” and the play of the same name, which he co-wrote with his wife, Dorothy Heyward, “The Gershwins’ Porgy and Bess” includes such legendary songs such as “Summertime,” “It Ain’t Necessarily So” and “I Got Plenty of
Nothing.”

The creative team also includes choreographer Ronald K. Brown, set designer Riccardo Hernandez, costume designer Esosa, lighting designer Christopher Akerlind, sound designer ACME Sound Partners, music supervisor Constantine Kitsopoulous and music director/conductor Dale Rieling.

The revival of “The Gershwins’ Porgy and Bess” had its world premiere at Harvard University’s American Repertory Theater during its 2011/12 season. The production moved to the Richard Rodgers Theatre on Broadway for a limited engagement with an official opening on January 12, 2012. “The Gershwins’ Porgy and Bess” closed on September 23, 2012, after 322 performances, making it the longest running production of “Porgy and Bess” to ever play Broadway.

Tickets for “The Gershwins’ Porgy and Bess” are available by calling (213) 972-4400, online at www.CenterTheatreGroup.org or in person at the CTG box office located at the Ahmanson Theatre at the Music Center.

Dreams Do Come True

Yolanda Holder at the Boston Marathon

Yolanda Holder at the Boston Marathon

By Yolanda Holder

I grew up watching the Boston Marathon on TV and thought to myself, I will never be able to go to Boston because I’m not a runner and I’m not an athlete. Five years ago for my 50th birthday I power walked 65 marathons/ultras in 52 weeks which started my journey as a Power Walking Diva. Being a 2x Guinness World Record holder for the “Most Marathons Run in a Calendar Year” has opened up many doors.  I have power walked over 471 marathons which included the LA Marathon, San Francisco , San Diego, Seattle, Honolulu and the New York Marathon just to name a few, but never the Boston Marathon. Losing both my parents to diabetes complications and wanting to honor my mom I founded Extreme Walk 4 Diabetes.  I power walked from Corona to Oakland, 521 miles in 15 days, spreading the word about the benefits of walking and diabetes.  After completing EW4D I was invited to be on a relay team mini “Run for Tomorrow” Ottawa, Canada to New York City Marathon.  Being a member on the R4T team we were invited to run the Boston Marathon.

I had never been to Boston and I was excited for two reasons.  One I’m power walking a marathon in every state and Boston would be state #30 and I’m power walking the Boston Marathon a dream come true!

I arrived at the expo and met for the first time a few of my R4T team members and took lots of pictures with my marathon friends.  What I love about marathoning is that you get to meet people from around the world and you get to travel to places you only dream of and the Boston Marathon was one of my dreams.  The Boston expo had legend runner speakers and I got to hear some of them speak and I met some of my Facebook friends as well.

On the morning of the Marathon, I was  excited and I had been training to set a personal record (PR) at Boston.  My PR for a marathon is 5:26 and my goal was 5:19. I was on pace and feeling good.  I was coming up on mile 20 and I could hear sirens and usually when we hear a siren we say a prayer and hope that the runner is okay, but these sirens didn’t stop and my cell phone started ringing and beeping with texts asking me if I was okay.  I took my brothers call and said, “What do you want? I’m at the Boston Marathon trying to set a PR and you keep calling me!”  My brother said “a bomb went off at the finish line are you near there?”  As I was approaching mile 20 a volunteer approached me and said the race has been cancelled and you need to go inside the medical tent.

There were about 15 of us in the medical tent and we were taken to Newton City Hall.  The Mayor and his staff took very good care of us and kept us safe.  I didn’t know the magnitude of this horrible act of violence until I arrived at my hotel room around 10 p.m. that night and I broke down and cried.  I couldn’t believe that I was that close to the bombing and I felt awful for the families that were affected by this terrible act of terrorism.

I practice what I preach walking 30 minutes a day, but now after the bombing I don’t take my life for granted. Every day is a gift from God and I’m blessed to wake up every morning and able to do what I love, Walking.  I’m headed back to Boston not to set a PR, but to finish with a smile on my face, I’m Boston Strong!

www.yolandaholder.com

 

 

 

Resurrection Sunday Production: ‘The Boy Who Believed’

Orphan Boy

Orphan Boy

FONTANA, CA- Bethel AME Church in Fontana will be presenting a Resurrection Play Production entitled “The Boy Who Believed”. This play is about a young orphan boy who wanted to be a part of a real family. The boy who believed was taught and BELIEVED in the Prophecy of Jesus by an old Inn Keeper. The play gives you a sense of awareness of how Jesus suffered from His death to His Resurrection, and what it was like to be a disciple. The play is FREE of charge and everyone is welcome to attend. The show will begin at 6 p.m. Bethel AME Church is located at 16262 Baseline Avenue in Fontana (92336). For more information call (909) 350-9401.