Better, Bess

Maybe the culture you originally developed to preserve your identity and express your heritage is now exploited by your oppressors. Sucks. But at times, white artists shared the black experience partly because it was the only way to disseminate remarkable stories and art to a larger audience. Complicated.

One such masterpiece is The Gershwins’ Porgy and Bess, fresh from a Tony-winning Broadway revival, at Tempe’s Gammage Auditorium through Sunday, June 8. Writers DuBose and Dorothy Heyward lived in Charleston, South Carolina, among people whose real lives and community inspired the saga of Porgy, a disabled beggar who loves a drug-addicted woman, Bess, who has a violent loser ex. Despite how personal that sounds, the show feels epic. The score is among the loveliest ever, including the classic “Summertime.” Thursday, June 5’s curtain is 8 p.m. at 1200 South Forest Avenue. Buy tickets, ranging from $20 to $79, at or 480-965-3434.

June 3-7, 7:30 p.m.; Sat., June 7, 2 p.m.; Sun., June 8, 1 & 6:30 p.m., 2014
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Julie has written for the Night & Day events calendar section since 2005. As a student at Arizona State, she received the Glendon and Kathryn Swarthout Creative Writing Award and the Theatre Medallion of Merit.
Contact: Julie Peterson