Sophie Okonedo, Denzel Washington and Anika Noni Rose
Photo by Brigitte Lacombe
Tony Award-winning actress Diahann Carroll was to return to Broadway in Raisin, but withdrew from the production due to the demands of the rehearsal and performance schedule. Richardson Jackson was called upon by director Kenny Leon to step in.
The production, directed by Tony Award nominee Leon, will officially open April 3 for a 14-week limited engagement through June 15.
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."