By Adam Hetrick
and Michael Gioia
11 Apr 2014
The Obama family has attended Broadway performances on several occasions. The First Lady, her mother Marian Robinson and daughters Sasha and Malia, attended productions of Memphis and The Addams Family. The President and First Lady also attended the 2009 revival of Joe Turner's Come and Gone. Last summer, Mrs. Obama and her daughters attended the acclaimed revival of Horton Foote's The Trip to Bountiful with Cicely Tyson, as well as the Broadway musical Motown.
A Raisin in the Sun, directed by Tony Award nominee Kenny Leon, officially opened April 3 for a 14-week limited engagement through June 15. Read the reviews here.
Washington, who won the 2010 Tony Award for his performance in August Wilson's Fences, stars as Walter Lee Younger opposite film, television and stage actress Richardson Jackson as Lena Younger.
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."