The Tony-winning musical Raisin begins its run at New Jersey's Axelrod Performing Arts Center February 24 in honor of the musical adaptation's 50th anniversary. Based on Lorraine Hansberry's A Raisin in the Sun, the limited engagement will continue through March 12.
Fredi Walker-Browne (Rent) plays family matriarch Lena Younger, joined by Ethan Joseph as Travis Younger, Roderick Lawrence as Walter Lee Younger, Gia Ware as Ruth Younger, Alexandria Reese as Beneatha Younger, MOZIAH as Joseph Asagai, and Burt Conrad as Karl Lindner.
In Raisin, Hansberry's A Raisin in the Sun is transformed into a grounded musical exploring a Black family's quest for a better life. The work features a book by Hansberry’s widower Robert Nemiroff alongside Charlotte Zaltzberg, music by Judd Woldin, and lyrics by Robert Brittan. The original production received nine Tony nominations, and won the award for Best Musical. Virginia Capers also took home the Tony for Best Featured Actress in a Musical. Raisin also won the 1975 Grammy Award for Best Musical Theater Album.
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Evelyn Collins directs the regional production, which features choreography by Dormeshia. Phylicia Rashad, who received a Tony for her portrayal of Lena in a revival of A Raisin in the Sun, serves as the production consultant, with approval from the Hansberry Estate.
Said Axelrod Artistic Director Andrew DePrisco: "Of all the lost musicals in Broadway history, Raisin may be the one show that most deserves to be heard and seen again, especially at the present time... We are honored to be collaborating with TV and theatre legend Phylicia Rashad and her close colleague, director Evelyn Collins to bring this historic revival to life.”