In Phillip Boykin this production has the best possible Crown. From his first moment on stage he was terrifying and menacing. His strong physical presence was enforced by a deeply resonant voice of operatic quality. Boykin embodies the rarest of assets, superb acting, combined with a boomingly powerful voice.
Posts By: Phillip Boykin
The impressive Phillip Boykin is powerfully threatening as Bess’s murderous lover, Crown, but there’s no sexual allure in his characterization—he is all brute.
McDonald and Lewis don’t carry the show alone. David Alan Grier’s vampy Sporting Life and Phillip Boykin’s vicious Crown are both beautifully sung.
Phillip Boykin, surprisingly nuanced as the villainous Crown. He is electrifying in his second act confrontation with Bess where the two face-off – she challenges him in song (“What You Want With Bess?”), only to give in when he lifts her in a carnal position that Porgy could never duplicate, underscoring the differences between the… Read more »
“Philip Boykin’s Crown, happily, does not succumb quite so easily. He is unapologetically operatic, and is allowed the full play of his heavy villain brutality. He exudes animal magnetism. His misogynistic rant against Bess’s alleged conversion to respectability, “A Red Headed Woman,” is terrifying and a great deal of fun, a jack-o-lantern who dares us… Read more »
Phillip Boykin (Crown) is a massive, resonant and convincing brute.
“Crown, played charismatically by hulking bass, Philip Boykin, is in many ways a stock villain, yet toward the end of the play, he’s actually given a Calvinist moral argument to explain his behavior. For him, the facts that he’s on the top of the Catfish Row heap and that he’s survived his many risks in… Read more »
“Still, David Alan Grier is perfection as the dealer/pimp – more cool cat than evil seducer. That job falls to Bess’ bully of a boyfriend (commanding Phillip Boykin, with a voice like thunder). Their transgressive embrace – once Bess has committed herself to the safe harbor offered by Porgy – is a murky blend of… Read more »
“The sinister element lurking on the fringe is drug dealer Sporting Life (Grier), or worse, the imposing Crown (a compelling Phillip Boykin), a crime boss and a tinderbox that could go off at any moment.”
That’s the production’s trade-off. It’s a “Porgy and Bess” connected to the truth in the storytelling set in a Catfish Row community that is vivid and vital, with great actor-singers with musical experience rather than operatic chops (with a few exceptions, such as Philip Boykin’s riveting Crown)