Dallas Theater Center revives Lorraine Hansberry's groundbreaking A Raisin in the Sun, the first Broadway play by an African-American woman, opening Jan. 19, 1999 at the 480-seat Kalita Humphreys Theater. Previews began Jan. 13 and performances have already been extended to Feb. 14 (a week past the original Feb. 7 closing date).
L. Kenneth Richardson's staging features Irma P. Hall as Mama, and Billy Eugene Jones as her grasping-for-success son, Walter Lee. A snapshot of black yearning and conflict 40 years ago (the 1959-60 Broadway season), the play told of Mama's attempts to use an insurance windfall to take her family out of the city -- and her son's wish to open a liquor store.
The staging -- designed by Donald Eastman (sets), Michael Alan Stein (costumes), John D. Ivey (sound) and Frances Aronson (lighting designer) -- is a co-production with Cleveland's Great Lakes Theatre Festival.
The slightly-recast staging (with Ohio actors in peripheral roles) will move to Cleveland beginning previews there March 18, opening March 20 and continuing to April 3, 1999.
Also in the Dallas company are Ron Dortch, Yvette Ganier, Nathan Hinton, Luis A. Laporte Jr., Michael Jamal Sheffey Rawlings, Gary Taggart and April Yvette Thompson. Tickets are $16-$49. The Kalita Humphreys, one of three theatres in the world designed and built by Frank Lloyd Wright, is at 3636 Turtle Creek Blvd., Dallas. Call (214) 522-8499 for ticket information.
-- By Kenneth Jones