This Week on Stage: ‘Porgy and Bess’ gets a makeunder; Kathleen Turner is a ‘Red Hot Patriot’ | EW.com

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This Week on Stage: ‘Porgy and Bess’ gets a makeunder; Kathleen Turner is a ‘Red Hot Patriot’

PORGY BESS

(Michael J. Lutch)

Gleeks, Geeks, and dedicated fans of all sorts ruled the stage world this week. Glee star Darren Criss, the current lead of How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying, outsold his predecessor Daniel Radcliffe—and caused quite a stir in Manhattan’s midtown. Star Trek icon William Shatner confirmed the dates and venue for his one-man Main Stem show, Shatner’s World: We Just Live In It. Newsies lovers finally got their Broadway lead, Jeremy Jordan. And our critics got back to being theater nerds after a short winter break. (The Harry Connick Jr.-led On a Clear Day You Can See Forever also announced that it wouldn’t last forever and is closing on Jan. 29, but let’s not dwell, as Raúl Esparza’s Leap of Faith will be moving in to its theater in April.)

Senior writer Clark Collis traveled to Brooklyn’s St. Ann’s Warehouse for Brit comedian and monologist Daniel Kitson’s latest solo show, It’s Always Right Now, Until It’s Later. He gave the production a B, writing that it “showcases Kitson’s beguiling skills as a miniaturist tale-teller.” “Kitson’s message is that everything contributes to life’s rich pageant,” he adds. “Certainly it has been enriched in some small way by this show.”

Stage editor Thom Geier saw Broadway’s The Gershwin’s Porgy and Bess, a pared down B+ revival, which, while not perfect, is bolstered by four-time Tony-winner Audra McDonald’s performance as its heroine. “Is there anything Audra McDonald can’t do?” he asks. “As played by McDonald with the full force of her vocal and acting abilities, Bess becomes an unforgettable and iconic American character.”

Out in Los Angeles, staff writer Tanner Stransky watched Kathleen Turner channel famed Texas journalist, political commentator, and wisecracker Molly Ivins in Red Hot Patriot: The Kick-Ass Wit of Molly Ivins. He calls Turner “a treat,” giving the show an A- and warning, “A word to the wise: Do not miss Kathleen Turner when she’s on the stage.”