Obamas Expected to Attend Broadway Revival of A Raisin in the Sun with Denzel Washington April 11

By Adam Hetrick
and Michael Gioia
11 Apr 2014

President Barack Obama
President Barack Obama

President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama are expected to attend the April 11 performance of the Broadway revival of Lorraine Hansberry's A Raisin in the Sun, starring Denzel Washington, according to Deadline.com.

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.



The production also stars Academy Award nominee Sophie Okonedo ("Hotel Rwanda," Broadway debut) as Ruth Younger, Tony Award winner Anika Noni Rose (Caroline, or Change) as Beneatha Younger, Stephen Tyrone Williams (Lucky Guy) as Joseph Asagai, Jason Dirden (Fences) as George Murchison, Tony Award nominee Stephen McKinley Henderson (Fences) as Bobo, David Cromer (director and star of Our Town, director of Tribes and The House of Blue Leaves) as Karl Lindner and 13-year-old Bryce Clyde Jenkins (Broadway debut, "The To-Do List," "Easy A") as Travis 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."