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Thursday, March 27

Casting Announced for Porgy & Bess at Open Air Theatre

Gershwins’ Porgy and Bess will run at Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre from 17th July to 23rd August. The cast will include American actor Rufus Bonds Jr  who has appeared in The Color Purple (US National Tour), Disney’s The Lion King (US National Tour) and the original Broadway production of Parade for which he was nominated for the Drama Desk Award for Outstanding Featured Actor in a Musical.  

Nicola Hughes reprises the role of Bess following her Olivier Award nominated performance in Trevor Nunn’s 2006 production at the Savoy Theatre. Her stage credits also include The Color Purple (Menier Chocolate Factory), Fosse (Prince of Wales Theatre/ Olivier Award nomination) and Velma Kelly in Chicago (Adelphi Theatre).

Singer-songwriter and Sugababe Jade Ewen whose stage credits include Whistle Down The Wind and Disney’s The Lion King will play Clara

Double Laurence Olivier Award nominee Sharon D Clarke,whose credits include We Will Rock You (Dominion Theatre), Ghost (Piccadilly Theatre) and The Amen Corner(National Theatre) will play the role of Mariah. 

Porgy and Bess will also star Phillip Boykin who will reprise the role of Crown, for which he received Tony, Drama Desk and Outer Critics Circle nominations for the 2012 Broadway production (Tony Award, Best Revival of a Musical).

They will be joined by  Cedric Neal, Golda Rosheuvel and Leon Lopez. While American actor Neal has previously appeared in the musical on Broadway, Rosheuvel and Lopez come to the musical for the first time following a string of performances on the London stage. For Rosheuvel those include The Curious Incident Of The Dog In The Night-Time and South Pacific at the National Theatre, while Lopez has appeared in productions including Rent at the Duke of York’s Theatre and Piaf at the Donmar Warehouse.

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