Theater: Gorky and Bess

HANG ON TO ME by Maxim Gorky

Music by George Gershwin

Lyrics by Ira Gershwin

What do Maxim Gorky, the founder of Socialist realism, and the Gershwin brothers of Broadway and Hollywood have in common? That was the intriguing question when Minneapolis' Guthrie Theater announced that Director Peter Sellars, the theater world's newest Wunderkind, would make a musical out of Gorky's long, semipolemical play Summerfolk by adding Gershwin songs. After last week's opening of the hybrid, the answer is, alas, all too apparent: Gorky and Gershwin have nothing in common except Sellars himself....

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