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Topic - Alicia Hall Moran
'The Gershwins' Porgy and Bess" will be performed at the National Theatre Christmas week, the same time "Elf the Musical" is at the Kennedy Center and the Washington Ballet's "The Nutcracker" is at the Warner Theatre. At first glance, a show about addiction, abusive relationships and a natural disaster might not be the most natural fit for the holiday season. Yet Sumayya Ali, who will play the role of the struggling young mother Clara in the production, argues that in an unexpected way, "Porgy and Bess" might be the perfect show for Christmas.
"It's an honor to be bringing Gershwin's work alive during this current wave of history," said Alicia Hall Moran, who plays the title role of Bess. "It's a victory for D.C., saying that it's okay to be able to retell this history that once we were segregated. It's brave of D.C. Every five years another 100,000 people in the population forget we were once segregated. In the theory of Nelson Mandela, you re-educate people, you face up to it, you heal. I expect it to be part of a healing process. It gives people a chance to relive the questions and heal in real time."
"There's so much to look at onstage, you are being guided with lights and the narrative to look at certain characters, you get so many layers that have so much meaning on which the narrative rests," she said. "There is stuff every night that happens away from the microphone, and I hear it and it changes my show. You have to be that much better to absorb the blows and caresses as they come, that millisecond in the beat where she's supposed to touch your arm lightly but it becomes an embrace. Every night there's something magical like that."