Click to Skip Ad
Closing in...
Denzel Washington Is One of Hollywood's Most Overpaid Stars, According to Forbes Denzel Washington Is One of Hollywood's Most Overpaid Stars, According to Forbes Bill Duke's 'Dark Girls' Follow-up, 'Light Girls,' Gets a First Trailer & Release date (Heading to OWN) Bill Duke's 'Dark Girls' Follow-up, 'Light Girls,' Gets a First Trailer & Release date (Heading to OWN) Watch Trailer for Romcom 'With This Ring' (Regina Hall, Jill Scott, Eve Star - Coming January 2015) Watch Trailer for Romcom 'With This Ring' (Regina Hall, Jill Scott, Eve Star - Coming January 2015) Here Are the Top 10 Grossing "Black Films" of 2014... How Many of Them Did You See? Here Are the Top 10 Grossing "Black Films" of 2014... How Many of Them Did You See? Debbie Allen & Phylicia Rashad Sign Up for 'Arsenic and Old Lace' Playing the Brewster Sisters Debbie Allen & Phylicia Rashad Sign Up for 'Arsenic and Old Lace' Playing the Brewster Sisters Kickstart This: A Film About a 150 Year-Old Black Vampire With Suicidal Urges Kickstart This: A Film About a 150 Year-Old Black Vampire With Suicidal Urges Weekend B.O. Dec. 19-21 (Sony's Grateful for Small Blessings, while Paramount Blew it) Weekend B.O. Dec. 19-21 (Sony's Grateful for Small Blessings, while Paramount Blew it) Ava DuVernay Has Multi-Episode TV Series on "Black Experience in America" in the Works Ava DuVernay Has Multi-Episode TV Series on "Black Experience in America" in the Works Sony Hack Reveals the Insufferable Whiteness of Hollywood Sony Hack Reveals the Insufferable Whiteness of Hollywood Preview: Jessica Williams of 'The Daily Show' Makes Leading Lady Debut in 'Tap Shoes & Violins' Preview: Jessica Williams of 'The Daily Show' Makes Leading Lady Debut in 'Tap Shoes & Violins' '106 & PARK' Says Goodbye Today, Dec 19 at 6pm, w/ Live, 2-hour, Star-Studded Finale! '106 & PARK' Says Goodbye Today, Dec 19 at 6pm, w/ Live, 2-hour, Star-Studded Finale! First Image of Queen Latifah as Bessie Smith in Upcoming HBO Biopic First Image of Queen Latifah as Bessie Smith in Upcoming HBO Biopic The Best of Black Television in 2014 The Best of Black Television in 2014 The Gift That Keeps on Giving - Leaked Sony Email Challenges Denzel Washington's Overseas Box Office Appeal The Gift That Keeps on Giving - Leaked Sony Email Challenges Denzel Washington's Overseas Box Office Appeal Woody Allen Says He Won’t Hire a Black Actor Unless the Role Calls for One... Whatever That Means Woody Allen Says He Won’t Hire a Black Actor Unless the Role Calls for One... Whatever That Means Co-Screenwriter of 'Noah' Explains Why There Are No Black People Or POC In The Film Co-Screenwriter of 'Noah' Explains Why There Are No Black People Or POC In The Film Aaron McGruder Finally Explains Why He Left 'The Boondocks' Aaron McGruder Finally Explains Why He Left 'The Boondocks' Lifetime Launches New Series Set In Elite World Of Hip-Hop Majorette Competitions (Watch Preview) Lifetime Launches New Series Set In Elite World Of Hip-Hop Majorette Competitions (Watch Preview) Netflix Explains Why It Doesn't Always Have That Film Or TV Show You Really Want To See (Video) Netflix Explains Why It Doesn't Always Have That Film Or TV Show You Really Want To See (Video) Tichina Arnold Says She Talked To Martin Lawrence About Doing A 'Martin' Movie... Tichina Arnold Says She Talked To Martin Lawrence About Doing A 'Martin' Movie...

Diahann Carroll Will Reportedly Play Denzel Washington's Mother In 'Raisin In The Sun' Revival

Photo of Tambay A. Obenson By Tambay A. Obenson | Shadow and Act July 23, 2013 at 8:02PM

Still no official confirmation of this, but Showbiz411 and Broadway World are continuing to report on the story that Denzel Washington will play Walter Lee Younger in a 2014 Broadway revival of Lorraine Hansberry's A Raisin in the Sun, to be directed by Kenny Leon, with Sophie Okenedo and Anika Noni Rose co-starring with Washington, likely as Walter Younger’s wife, and his sister.
1
Diahann Carroll

Still no official confirmation of this, but Showbiz411 and Broadway World are continuing to report on the story that Denzel Washington will play Walter Lee Younger in a 2014 Broadway revival of Lorraine Hansberry's A Raisin in the Sun, to be directed by Kenny Leon, with Sophie Okenedo and Anika Noni Rose co-starring with Washington, likely as Walter Younger’s wife, and his sister. 

This afternoon, Showbiz411 adds that Diahann Carroll has joined that cast to play Walter's mother. Assuming this news holds, this will be Carroll's first appearance in a Broadway show since Agnes of God, which ran from 1982 to 1983.

Scott Rudin will produce.

As I asked in the last post, Denzel is a bit too old to play Walter Lee Younger, isn't he? 

Rehashing what I said previously...

Denzel is 58 years old (he'll be 59 in December, and by the time the play is reportedly scheduled to begin its run next year). 

Yes, I suppose he could play younger, but I don't think he'd pass for a 30-something year old man, which is about how old Sidney Poitier was when he originated the role in 1960 (he was 33 years old). And most recently, in 2004, Sean Puffy Combs (of all people) was 35 when he played Walter on Broadway.

Unless, of course, the team behind the production plans to take creative liberties with the story, which certainly won't be a first. After all, Kenny Leon did cast 63-year-old Samuel L. Jackson to play 39-year-old Martin Luther King Jr in Katori Hall's The Mountaintop a couple of years ago.

Recall the November 2012 Charlie Rose interview we posted, in which Denzel Washington (while plugging Flight) revealed that he was planning a return to the Broadway stage in 2014, with Leon directing and Rudin producing.

He said Rudin and Leon had already decided on what the play will be, but he hadn't quite made up his own mind at the time, as to whether the play they'd chosen was one he'd like to do.

I started to speculate, but then remembered that earlier last year, in February, I dug up a profile of Denzel while he was plugging Safe House, in the UK, which included a statement that the actor was "showing no signs of slowing down, with talk of him starring in Othello with Al Pacino."

Denzel played Othello on stage in college many years ago at Fordham University, so this won't be foreign territory for him, this time teaming up with Al Pacino as Iago.

So I figured that might be the play that Rudin and Leon had already settled on; although, it looks like it was likely instead maybe what Denzel would rather have done (or would rather do), instead of what a revival of A Raisin in the Sun.

For a number of years now, Pacino has been interested in producing the Shakespearean tragedy, with him playing Iago; most recently, in 2010, while doing press for The Merchant Of Venice on Broadway, in which he played Shylock, he had this to say to the New York Times: "I once talked to Denzel Washington about doing Othello. I turned down Iago in the past because I thought there was a banality to Iago. Time has passed, and I have read the play again and again and found a way in... Now I want to do it."

So... connect the dots...

I'd say that a pairing of Pacino and Washington on stage in a Shakespeare work will likely be THE friggin' hottest ticket in town, or at least on Broadway, if it ever does happen, and you may as well put Denzel's name up there for another Tony Award also.

To be frank, I think I'd probably rather see that play, over Denzel in A Raisin In The Sun, in part because it was just recently on Broadway, in 2004, with Sean Combs (for some reason) playing Walter Lee Younger, Audra McDonald as his wife Ruth Younger, Phylicia Rashad as mama Lena Younger, and Sanaa Lathan as Beneatha.

Another revival of the play, 10 years later, seems a bit too soon, especially when there are so many other plays that could be "the one." 

I'd be remiss if I didn't also note that FOX studios did recently announce that they planned to turn some 7 or 8 movies from their library into Broadway musicals. No word on which titles are in contention.

But maybe it's a completely different work which we'll find out about eventually; maybe Oprah Winfrey's waiting for him, and we'll see Oprah and Denzel in a play together! Imagine that! She recently reiterated her Broadway plans (although she hasn't revealed what work she'll be bringing to the stage) - plans she first revealed about 2 years ago.

So, in closing, assuming this news holds, it'll be Denzel Washington, Sophie Okenedo, Anika Noni Rose and Diahann Carroll in a revival of A Raisin In The Sun, next spring on Broadway, with Kenny Leon directing and Scott Rudin producing.

This article is related to: Diahann Carroll


Shadow & ActNewsletter