Put Daniel Sullivan together with a great play and a highly-respected, award-winning actor like John Lithgow and you're likely to get an illuminating and theatrical rendition of the work, with flashes of lightning for sure.
Perhaps the most complimentary remark to be made about Audra McDonald in Lady Day at the Emerson Bar & Grill is that in 90 minutes and under Lonny Price's fully empathetic direction, she nails that voice and she gets that whole life.
When Marquita Lister sings Serena in Boston Symphony Orchestra's Porgy and Bess this week, she will come full circle in a celebrated career whose seeds took root while she was an undergrad at Boston's New England Conservatory of Music.
If Porgy and Bess' history has functioned as a reflection of race relations in America, then we might also think of this show as one of those cultural spaces that invite us to reflect on marriage, as well. The songs powerfully record that desire for freedom to marry in our cultural ear.