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Historical Significance

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George Gershwin's 1935 American folk opera, Porgy and Bess, has made all kinds of history in its 75 years. The 1936 touring production forced many segregated theaters to sell tickets to black patrons, and a sold-out production in Copenhagen in 1943 was closed down by the Nazis. There's even a local connection: Former Kansas Citian Blevins Davis produced revivals of the opera in New York and London in 1952. And a number of the show's songs, including "Summertime" and "I've Got Plenty of Nothin', " remain pop standards. A new touring production opens tonight at 8 (and continues Saturday) in the Carlsen Center on the Johnson County Community College campus (12345 College Boulevard in Overland Park), and brings the music of the legendary composer — Gersh­win considered it his finest work — to life with a 30-member cast and a live orchestra. For tickets and performance information, call 913-469-4445 or see jccc.edu/theseries.
Fri., Feb. 26, 8 p.m.; Sat., Feb. 27, 8 p.m., 2010

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