Harry Lennix, one of the stars of Julie Taymor's film "Titus," and Irma P. Hall, recently seen in New York in Jar the Floor, will head the cast of the Goodman Theatre's new production of Lorraine Hansberry's classic, A Raisin in the Sun. The play begins previews April 21, opens May 1 and runs through June 3. Chuck Smith directs.
Raisin was the first play by a black woman to be staged on Broadway. It follows the Younger family, who live on Chicago's South Side in the 1950s and struggle to improve their life. The original Broadway production, directed by Lloyd Richards, starred Sidney Poitier, Claudia MacNeil, Ruby Dee, Diana Sands, Louis Gossett and Lonne Elder III.
Hansberry wrote only one more play before succumbing to cancer at age 34.
Irma P. Hall, a prominent regional actress, will play the Younger family matriarch, who longs to move from the tenement they live in to a house in a white neighborhood. Harry Lennix, long a staple of Chicago theatre, is son Walter Lee, who has his own plans to buy into a liquor store.
Also in the cast are Al Boswell, Raphael Chestang, Gary Houston, T'Keyah Keymah, James Vincent Meredith, Dwain A. Perry, Tim Edward Rhoze and Celeste Williams. Tickets are $29-$42. The Goodman Theatre is located at 200 S. Columbus Drive in Chicago. For information, call (312) 443-3800.
--By Robert Simonson