A Raisin in the Sun, the classic Lorraine Hansberry drama which is a perennial candidate for Broadway revival, will soon reach New York's biggest stage, producer David Binder confirmed to Playbill On-Line. A Raisin in the Sun, the classic Lorraine Hansberry drama which is a perennial candidate for Broadway revival, will soon reach New York's biggest stage, producer David Binder confirmed to Playbill On-Line.
The revival made the news a couple weeks ago when New York Post reported that Laurence Fishburne, Tony-winner for August Wilson's Two Trains Running, and Angela Bassett, who acted in Wilson's Joe Turner's Come and Gone, wished to star. Speaking to Playbill On-Line, Binder stressed that, as the project was still in earliest stages, no casting decisions had been made. He did confirm, however, that the director would be Marion McClinton, August Wilson's current helmsman of choice (King Hedley II, Jitney).
Binder could not say whether the production would reach Broadway by the 2003-04 season.
The play concerns Walter Lee, who chafes at his straightened circumstances and longs for a business deal which would lift him out of his limited world. He has his eye of his late father's insurance, but Walter's mother wants to use her that money to move the family out of the city.
Raisin in the Sun premiered in 1959. It was the first Broadway play written, directed and starring African-Americans. Lloyd Richards directed. In the cast were Poitier, Claudia McNeil as the mother, Diana Sands, Ruby Dee, Louis Gossett, Ivan Dixon, Glynn Turman, John Fielder, Lonne Elder III, Ed Hall and Douglas Turner. It ran 530 performances. A film 1961 version followed, as did a later 1991 TV movie. It was also the basis for the musical, Raisin. A few seasons back, a revival of A Raisin in the Sun starring Ruben Santiago Hudson, Gloria Foster and Viola Davis, played the Williamstown Theatre Festival. Santiago-Hudson subsequently made the rounds of Broadway producers, urging a commercial transfer. According to the actor, who spoke at Foster's memorial (the actress died last year), a powerful Broadway producer turned him down, saying, "You know, it's really not a very good play."