Every week, TicketForce brings you an update on the world of theatre, music, sports or racing. This week’s #theatrewrap features the return of A Raisin in the Sun to Broadway.
Lorriane Hansberry’s A Raisin in the Sun originally debuted on Broadway in 1959 and was the first play written by an African American woman to be produced on Broadway. It was also the first play on Broadway to have an African American director, Lloyd Richards.
Considered a risky investment due to its primarily African American cast, producer Philip Rose spent over a year raising enough money to launch the play. After positive reviews, the play debuted on Broadway on March 11, 1959 and was named the best play of 1959 by the New York Drama Critics’ Circle. A Raisin in the Sun ended up running for nearly two years and earned four Tony Award nominations during that time.
Six decades later, A Raisin in the Sun is returning to Broadway with an impeccable cast. Tony winner Diahann Carroll will join Denzel Washington and Sophie Okenedo in the Broadway revival of A Raisin in the Sun, slated to open April 3, 2014. The play will begin previews at the Barrymore Theatre on March 8, 2014.
Carrol, who will play Lena Younger in the play, was the first African American actress to win a Tony Award for Best Actress in a Musical. When asked about her role in A Raisin in the Sun, Carrol told the Associated Press about meeting Hansberry, stating, “She was extraordinary, and I think that's one of the reasons why it is an honor to be asked to be part of this. She faced everything with such intelligence and grace."
How do you think the Broadway revival of A Raisin in the Sun will compare to the 1959 debut? Leave a comment below or send us a tweet with your thoughts.