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Porgy and Bess The Musical

Music & Lyrics by George Gershwin
Book & Lyrics by DuBose Heyward

Recommended Resources

Plot Summary & Audition Tips

List of Characters in Porgy & Bess

Porgy and Bess Complete Vocal Score

Porgy and Bess Karaoke Background Tracks CD

Based on the novel "Porgy" by DuBose Heyward.

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Audition Preparation Suggestions for
Porgy and Bess

This show features characters of a specific ethnicity. See our list of other shows with characters of particular ethnicities to aid in the search for audition material.

Porgy and Bess is somewhere between opera, operetta, and musical theatre. As such it requires highly trained singers who can handle not only difficult music but also a great deal of it.

In George Gershwin's will he specified that Porgy and Bess may only be performed by African Americans - so Caucasians need not apply.

Sportin' Life (Tenor, soft shoe dance)
villainous dope peddler
Crown (Bass)
a gambler, murders a fellow gambler
Porgy (Baritone)
a crippled goat-cart beggar
Serena (Alto)
Bess (Soprano)
Clara (Soprano)
Large Chorus

Porgy & Bess Links - Related Websites

Audition Preparation Materials

List of Songs in Porgy & Bess (Click on the song title to download digital sheet music)

  • Introduction and Jasbo Brown Blues
  • Summertime (Clara)
  • Oh, nobody knows when de Lord is gonna call
  • A Woman Is a Sometime Thing
  • Here come de-honey man ; Porgy's Entrance
  • Here comes Big Boy! (Entrance of Crown and Bess)
  • Oh, little stars, little stars
  • Wake up an' hit it out
  • Gone, Gone, Gone
  • Overflow
  • Well, well, well, a saucer-burying setup
  • My Man's Gone Now
  • How de saucer stan' now, my sister?
  • Leavin' for the Promise' Lan'
  • It Takes a Long Pull to Get There
  • Mus' be you mens forgot about de picnic
  • I Got Plenty o'Nuttin'  
  • Lissen there, what I tells you
  • I Hates yo' Struttin' Style
  • Mornin', Lawyer
  • Dey's a Buckra comin
  • The Buzzard Song
  • Lo, Bess, goin' to the picnic?
  • Bess, You Is My Woman
  • Oh, I Can't Sit Down
  • What's de matter wid you, sister?
  • I Ain't Got No Shame
  • It Ain't Necessarily So
  • Dance; Shame on all you sinners
  • Crown!
  • What You Want wid Bess?
  • Lemme go, hear dat boat
  • Honey, dat's all de breakfast I got time for
  • Tak yo' hands off me, I say
  • Oh, Doctor Jesus
  • Strawberry Woman: Honey Man; Crab Man
  • Now de time, oh, Gawd
  • I Loves You, Porgy
  • Why you been out on that wharf so long, Clara?
  • Oh, Doctor Jesus (Hurricane Scene)  
  • Summertime (Reprise)
  • What make you so still, Bess; Oh, dere's somebody knockin'
  • You is a nice parcel of Christians
  • A Red-Headed Woman
  • Jake's boat in de river
  • Clara, Clara
  • You low-lived skunk
  • Summertime (Reprise)
  • Wait for us at the corner, Al
  • What is your name?
  • Oh, Gawd! They goin' make him look on Crown's face
  • There's a Boat Dat's Leavin' Soon For New York
  • Catfish Row Interlude
  • Good mornin', sistuh! Good mornin', brudder
  • It's Porgy comin' home
  • Oh, Bess, Oh, Where's My Bess
  • Bess is gone
  • Oh, Lawd, I'm on My Way

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