The reworked version of the Gershwin opera “Porgy and Bess” managed to come home with more and more prestigious awards than a revival of Stephen Sondheim’s “Follies.”
Diane Paulus, the artistic director of the American Repertory Theater, adapted it for Broadway with Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright Suzan-Lori Parks and Obie Award-winning composer Diedre Murray.
The team condensed the four-hour opera into a two-and-one-half-hour musical, eliminated a lot of the repetitiveness and tried to deepen the characters. Their effort generated headlines when purists including Sondheim complained that a musical treasure was being corrupted.
Theater audiences disagreed, with fans cheering the new work, which features songs such as “Summertime” and “Bess, You Is My Woman Now.”