ART’s Paulus responds

By Mark Shanahan & Meredith Goldstein
August 12, 2011

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Diane Paulus isn’t about to get into a back-and-forth with Broadway legend Stephen Sondheim over the American Repertory Theater’s upcoming production “The Gershwins’ Porgy and Bess.’’ Paulus has responded to Sondheim’s blistering criticism of the reimagined musical, which Paulus is directing, by invoking the names of the original creators of the opera “Porgy and Bess,’’ George and Ira Gershwin and DuBose and Dorothy Heyward. “The entire creative team and cast have the most enormous love and respect for Porgy and Bess, and we are grateful for the support and encouragement we have received from the Gershwin and Heyward Estates for this production,’’ the statement reads. If you’re late to this dispute, Sondheim attacked Paulus in a letter sent to The New York Times after he read about what Paulus and playwright Suzan-Lori Parks were planning for the “Porgy’’ musical, which features new dialogue, characterizations, and a happy ending.