Ira & George Gershwin

Scribes and songsmiths

Before they wrote America’s greatest opera, “Porgy and Bess,” which opened in 1937 at the Alvin Theater, the Gershwin brothers entranced Gotham audiences with their bluesy songs for George White’s “Scandals” and the frothy musicals “Oh, Kay!”; “Funny Face”; “Strike up the Band”; and “Of Thee I Sing,” the first tuner to win the Pulitzer Prize. George, of course, managed to bring jazz influences into the classical realm, and his “Rhapsody in Blue” is as much an anthem for New York as Woody Allen’s “Manhattan.”

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