By Adam Hetrick
and Michael Gioia
09 Feb 2014
A representative for the production stated that Carroll withdrew from the production due to the vigorous demands of the rehearsal and performance schedule.
A Raisin in the Sun was to mark the highly anticipated Broadway return of the acclaimed actress after more than a 30-year absence from the New York stage. The film, television and stage star is a Tony Award winner for No Strings. Her stage credits also include Sunset Boulevard, Agnes of God and her 1954 Broadway debut in Harold Arlen's House of Flowers.
Jackson, who will step into the role, made her Broadway debut in the Lincoln Center Theater revival of Joe Turner's Come and Gone. She has appeared Off-Broadway in Love, Loss and What I Wore; For Colored Girls…, Unfinished Woman; and The Talented Tenth. Screen credits include "Ally McBeal," "Chicago Hope," "Sleepless in Seattle," "Introducing Dorothy Dandridge," "Malcolm X" and "Fried Green Tomatoes."
Okonedo is appearing with the permission of Actors' Equity Association.
Originally produced in 1959, Lorraine Hansberry's A Raisin in the Sun was the first play written by an African American woman to be produced on Broadway, where it won the New York Drama Critics Circle Award for Best Play.
Here's how producer Scott Rudin bills the work: "Set on Chicago's South Side, A Raisin in the Sun revolves around the divergent dreams and conflicts within three generations of the Younger family: son Walter Lee (Washington), his wife Ruth (Okonedo), his sister Beneatha (Rose), his son Travis and matriarch Lena, called Mama (Carroll). When her deceased husband's money comes through, Mama dreams of moving to a new home and a better neighborhood in Chicago. Walter Lee, a chauffeur, has other plans: buying a liquor store and being his own man. Beneatha dreams of medical school. The tensions and prejudice they face form this seminal American drama."
Other members of the creative team include scenic designer Mark Thompson, costume designer Ann Roth and lighting designer Brian MacDevitt.
The classic Lorraine Hansberry drama was last seen on Broadway in 2004 starring Sean Combs.
Washington has also been seen on Broadway in Julius Caesar and Checkmates.