New 'Porgy and Bess' wins musical revival Tony

MARK KENNEDY AP Drama Writer Published:

NEW YORK (AP) -- A reworked version of the Gershwin opera "Porgy and Bess" has won the Tony Award for best musical revival.

"The Gershwins' Porgy and Bess" opened in January starring Audra McDonald, David Alan Grier and Norm Lewis.

Diane Paulus, the artistic director of the American Repertory Theater, adapted the Gershwin opera for the Broadway stage 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 Stephen Sondheim complained that a musical treasure was being corrupted.

Theater audiences disagreed, with fans cheering the new work, which featured songs such as "Summertime" and "Bess, You Is My Woman Now."