Broadway Winter 2013/Spring 2014 Guide
by Whitney Spaner, 12/09/2013
Denzel Washington. Photo: Mark Seliger
A Raisin in the Sun
It's been a decade since Sean (insert nickname here) Combs made his highly publicized Broadway debut in Lorraine Hansberry's classic play about a poor black family struggling against racial and class tensions in 1950s Chicago, and it's been six years since he produced and starred in a TV movie version. Now Denzel Washington, who won a Tony for his last Broadway outing in August Wilson's Fences, is going to show the rap star and producer how it's done when he takes over the role of Walter Lee Younger. The character, along with his wife, Ruth—played here by film actress Sophie Okonedo in her Broadway debut—lives with his mother, Lena (actress LaTanya Richardson Jackson), and sister, Beneatha (Dreamgirls breakout Anika Noni Rose). Throughout the play, the family is conflicted about how to spend a lump sum of insurance money that Lena has received—Walter plans to invest his portion in a liquor store, while Lena puts a down payment on a house in a white neighborhood, which makes their soon-to-be neighbors uncomfortable. This production, like the last Broadway run and TV movie, will be directed by Kenny Leon, but with Denzel center stage, it's sure to be an entirely different experience.
Ethel Barrymore Theatre, 243 W. 47th St. Previews start March 8; opens April 3.