Gershwin Clans Vie Over New ‘Porgy’
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It’s the family rhapsody blues in New York State Supreme Court, pitting the descendants of legendary composer George Gershwin against those of his brother and lyricist, Ira.
The dispute, which court papers call ongoing, centers on royalties from an upcoming production of the 1935 classic “Porgy and Bess,” set to open next month at London’s Savoy Theatre. George’s descendants say Ira’s trust is trying to inflate its royalties by calling the production a “new work,” which would give Ira’s side a larger slice under a family deal. George’s side argues other stagings of the play — including a Lincoln impersonator and Bess on a motorcycle — weren’t considered new and neither should the Savoy version. The Leonore S. Gershwin 1987 Trust, the defendant in the suit, couldn’t be reached for comment last night, and a plaintiffs’ lawyer declined to comment.