Friday, August 25, 2006

Nunn Finds His Porgy And Bess

Nunn Finds His Porgy And Bess

I'm officially ecstatic now that casting has been announced for the upcoming Trevor Nunn revival of Porgy And Bess. Clarke Peters and Nicola Hughes will take on the title roles in the Gareth Valentine-helmed production set for a November 9 opening.

While fairly unknown to American audiences, Hughes received an Olivier nomination in 2001 for her performance in the British mounting of Fosse.

Peters is best known to American audiences for his turn as Lester Freamon on television's "The Wire," but theatrical audiences know him for his Tony nominated book for Five Guys Named Moe back in 1992, as well as his subsequent Broadway roles as Billy Flynn in the current Chicago revival and as Joe Mott alongside Kevin Spacey in the critically-acclaimed revival of The Iceman Cometh in 1999.

While my appetite has already been whetted for Porgy And Bess, it's Clarke's inclusion that makes this a must-see event for me. That's because of my fond, vivid memories of his outstanding nuanced performance in the captivating 1988 London mounting of Driving Miss Daisy.

In it, Peters was paired with theatrical legend and Academy Award-winning actress Dame Wendy Hiller in the titular role (Hiller was one of George Bernard Shaw's favorite actresses for which she was rewarded with leading roles in Pymalion and Major Barbara). This excellent, small-scale production of Driving Miss Daisy was wowing London's Apollo Theatre audiences one year prior to the Academy Award-winning movie version with Morgan Freeman and Jessica Tandy.

I now look forward to having Peters wow me again.

This is Steve On Broadway (SOB).

Click here for tickets.
Related Stories:
Trevor Nunn's West End Porgy and Bess Will Transfer to Broadway (July 25, 2006)
Nunn Better: Porgy and Bess Set for London Revival (June 30, 2006)

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