By Anthony Tusler
The story of Porgy and Bess is back on Broadway, and Porgy’s disability is almost lost in the revisions.
As fans know, Porgy is a beggar who most likely has paraplegia and so, given the era in which the original 1925 novel, Porgy, is set, uses either a push board or goat cart for mobility. But in the new, shortened musical, called The Gershwins’ Porgy and Bess, both push board and goat cart are gone, ultimately replaced by a leg brace and cane. Just when the theater world started to face the reality that their lead character actually had a disability, they went and changed him.