George Gershwin Biography

George Gershwin

was born in Brooklyn on September 26, 1898, and began his musical training when he was 13. At 16, he quit high school to work as a "song plugger" for a music publisher and soon he was writing songs himself. "Swanee," as introduced by Al Jolson, brought George his first real fame and led to his writing a succession of 22 musical comedies, most with the lyrics of his older brother, Ira. The Gershwin shows include Lady, Be Good; Oh, Kay!; Strike Up the Band; Girl Crazy; and the Pulitzer Prize-winning Of Thee I Sing. From his early career, George had ambitions to compose serious music. These ambitions were realized in some of his masterpieces of American music, among them "Rhapsody in Blue," "Concerto in F," "An American in Paris," and "Second Rhapsody." In the late ’20s, George became fascinated by the DuBose Heyward novel Porgy, recognizing it as a perfect vehicle for opera using jazz and blues idioms. George’s "folk opera" Porgy and Bess opened in Boston on September 30, 1935, and had its Broadway premiere two weeks later. In 1937, George was at the height of his career. In Hollywood, working on the score of The Goldwyn Follies, he collapsed, and on July 11, died of a brain tumor. He was not quite 39 years old.

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Recent Performances of works by George Gershwin
Production/Credit WhereOpening Night
Crazy for You ...... (Music) East Brunswick Community Players 11/2/2012
Crazy for You ...... (Music) Spotlight Players 11/4/2006
Crazy for You ...... (Music) Barn Theatre 11/18/2005
Of Thee I Sing ...... (Music & Lyrics) Paper Mill Playhouse 8/8/2004
Crazy for You ...... (Music) Allegro Productions 5/7/2004
Crazy for You ...... (Music) Pierrot Productions 4/16/2004
Crazy for You ...... (Music) Surflight Theatre 7/8/2003
Crazy for You ...... (Music) Middlesex County Plays in the Park 7/24/2002
Crazy for You ...... (Music) Main Street Theatre Company 5/16/2002
Crazy for You ...... (Music) Spring Lake Theatre Company 6/28/2001
Crazy for You ...... (Music) Phoenix Productions 11/11/2000
Crazy for You ...... (Music) Talent Time Players 7/1/2000
Crazy for You ...... (Music) Paper Mill Playhouse 4/14/1999
Crazy for You ...... (Music) Red Oak Music Theatre 4/24/1998
Crazy for You ...... (Music) Rider University 11/7/1997
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