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First Look At Denzel Washington, Anika Noni Rose & Cast Of 'A Raisin In The Sun' Revival

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by Tambay A. Obenson
April 1, 2014 4:50 PM
10 Comments
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Producers have set opening night for April 232014 at the Barrymore Theatre for the 2014 Broadway revival of Lorraine Hansberry's A Raisin in the Sun, which is directed by Kenny Leon.


Previews began on March 8. The show will run for 14 weeks.

Denzel Washington stars as Walter Lee Younger, with Sophie Okenedo as his wife, Ruth, and Anika Noni Rose as his sister Beneatha.

Diahann Carroll was to play the family matriarch, Lena ("mama"), but the veteran actress dropped out of the show, saying that the rigorous demands of the rehearsal and performance schedule, would be a bit much for the 78 year old actress.

In her place, LaTanya Richardson Jackson (who also happens to be wife of Samuel L. Jackson, and a veteran stage and screen actress in her own right), stepped in to play Lena ("mama") the upcoming revival.

Stephen Tyrone Williams plays Joseph Asagai, Jason Dirden is George Murchison and Stephen McKinley Henderson plays Bobo.

Also, David Cromer plays Karl Lindner, and Bryce Clyde Jenkins, makes his Broadway debut as son, Travis Younger. 

Scott Rudin is producing.

A Raisin in the Sun was last on Broadway in 2004, with Sean Combs playing Walter Lee Younger, Audra McDonald as his wife Ruth Younger, Phylicia Rashad as mama Lena Younger, and Sanaa Lathan as Beneatha, and was also directed by Kenny Leon.

The show is now in previews with an April 23 official opening set for a 14-week run:


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10 Comments

  • Ava | April 5, 2014 7:18 PMReply

    Preview showings for the this production have be very positive. Kenny Leon and Denzel seem to be playing this as Walter being in his 40s but who has aged rapidly having gone through a really tough existence.
    If anyone remembers the play where the Mother, Lena, in her monologue mentioned how Walter's father worked himself into an early grave and looked like an old man by the time he had reached forty. Hence the symmetry. Also Leon seems to be wisely making this more of an ensemble piece so the emphasis won't be entirely on Walter (or his age).
    I know I speak for myself, but as a writer who writes predominantly plays, I appreciate the occasional mention to theater and stage plays. The majority of these actors have been in film and television and this particular play has inspired some very famous screen adaptations, so I do think its inclusion is justified on this site.
    Also, to the poster who said it didn't belong because it was stage not screen. Who says this production won't spawn a stage to screen adaptation on PBS or some other entity? It's a bit premature to think that it won't be filmed and put on a screen somewhere.

  • So, Ava | April 7, 2014 1:28 AM

    How is Kenny making this more of an ensemble piece? He can't legally rewrite the play, so I'm curious how he's supposedly achieving that.

  • Kenny Clark | April 2, 2014 5:56 PMReply

    This stage play should be on television for the local TV viewers! How many people around the United States will be able to witness this event? I'm just sayin....

  • Derrick | April 2, 2014 4:40 PMReply

    Why is this stage play featured on a website that's devoted to film? I could understand if this was being produced for film or television but to my knowledge it's only playing on Broadway. Just asking.

  • Donella | April 7, 2014 10:30 AM

    This site also discusses film actors and their related projects whether onstage, television, or internet.

  • Well, Derrick | April 7, 2014 1:24 AM

    This site frequently features plays, it's just that you're only paying attention now because Denzel is involved.

  • Cynmarie | April 2, 2014 7:24 AMReply

    Sophie Okonedo is the correct spelling of the actress.

  • Edwina | April 1, 2014 5:22 PMReply

    While we know Denzel is going to give a top-rated performance, as he always does, and this run will probably pull in big audiences, I believe that this ship had passed. He's simply too old now to play Walter Lee, as the character was originally written. Just my opinion.

  • Random Commentary | April 1, 2014 5:52 PM

    Film adaptation yes. Stage no. Besides the original Raisin in the Sun will always be the platinum standard. The era and the actors were perfect. Re-making a classic will ring hollow like the (1998)Psycho. Although American Psycho was a classic but that had nothing to do with the original. Any film adaptation would have to be an original take for it to have a chance.

  • Jo Lamar | April 1, 2014 5:28 PM

    Agree, Edwina.

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