Since 1925, the story of Porgy and Bess remains relevant

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A jazz interpretation of the American opera Porgy and Bess debuts this weekend at the New Vic Theater in Santa Barbara, starring actors Elijah Rock and Karole Foreman.

Composed by George Gershwin, Porgy and Bess tells the tragic story of the love between a crippled beggar and a beautiful yet broken cocaine addict and prostitute. It was first performed in 1935, and featured an entire cast of classically trained African-American singers — a daring artistic choice at the time.

KCRW's Larry Perel spoke with Rock and Foreman about the history behind the production and why the story is just as relevant today.





Larry Perel