New York Times critic Ben Brantley loved Fresno’s favorite Broadway star, Audra McDonald, in the out-of-town tryout of the new adaptation of “The Gershwins’ Porgy and Bess” that opened last fall. In his review of the Broadway production, which opened Thursday night, he went positively weak-kneed:
But suddenly an elemental force takes possession of the stage, and its tremors course through the audience.That’s the storm raging within a woman who’s tearing herself to pieces before our eyes, fighting with her infernal attraction to a man she knows she should be fleeing. For devastating theatrical impact, it’s hard to imagine any hurricane matching the tempest that is the extraordinary Audra McDonald’s Bess at the moment she is reunited with her former lover, Crown, played by Phillip Boykin.
As for the rest of the show: Brantley thinks it’s “just pretty good.” But as for Audra, she’s great. Could this be a fifth Tony award in the making?
Photo / New York Times