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It Ain’t Necessarily So 

George Gershwin’s Porgy and Bess has been one of the more problematic operas. Inspired by DuBose Heyward’s novel Porgy (Heyward also wrote the opera’s libretto), this down-and-dirty tale of the poor denizens of Catfish Row has often been decried as racist for its use of dialect, its depiction of unsavory black characters and the fact that it was written in the 1930s by a white man. But Gershwin considered it his masterpiece, and songs such as “Summertime” and “Bess, You Is My Woman Now” have become standards for singers of all colors and genres. The Union Avenue Opera and the Black Repertory Theater unite to present this troubling, uplifting work at 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday, 3 p.m. Sunday, and 7:30 p.m. Tuesday through Thursday (August 17 through 26) at the Union Avenue Christian Church (733 North Union Boulevard; 314-361-2881 or www.unionavenueopera.org). Tickets are $25 to $50.
Fridays-Sundays; Aug. 21-23. Starts: Aug. 17. Continues through Aug. 26

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