LaTanya Richardson Jackson returns to the Great White Way as Lena Younger opposite Denzel Washington in the upcoming Broadway production of Lorraine Hansberry’s A Raisin in the Sun, directed by Kenny Leon. Miss Jackson assumes the role from Diahann Carroll who has withdrawn from the production.
The production will also star Academy Award®-nominee Sophie Okonedo (Hotel Rwanda) making her Broadway debut as Ruth Younger, Tony Award-winner Anika Noni Rose (Caroline, or Change) as Beneatha Younger, Sean Patrick Thomas as Joseph Asagai, Jason Dirden (Fences) as George Murchison, and Tony Award®-nominee Stephen McKinley Henderson (Fences) as Bobo. The cast also features David Cromer, who directed and starred in the Obie Award-winning production of Our Town and has also directed acclaimed productions of Tribes, The House of Blue Leaves and The Adding Machine, as Karl Lindner, and 13-year-old Bryce Clyde Jenkins, (The To-Do List, Easy A), who will make his Broadway debut as Travis Younger.
A Raisin in the Sun begins performances on Saturday, March 8, 2014, at the Ethel Barrymore Theatre (247 West 47 Street). Opening night is Thursday, April 3. The 14-week limited engagement run is scheduled through Sunday, June 15.
LaTanya Richardson Jackson made her Broadway debut in the revival of August Wilson’s Joe Turner’s Come and Gone. Her off-Broadway credits include Love, Loss and What I Wore, Casanova, For Colored Girls…, Spell #7, Unfinished Woman (NYSF); Elliot Loves (Promenade); The Talented Tenth (MTC); From the Mississippi Delta (Negro Ensemble Co.); Boogie Woogie and Booker T., Perdido, Nonsectarian Conversations…, Dr. Beck (Henry Street). She has appeared in the films Mothers and Daughters, Bolden!, Blackout,Freedomland, The Fighting Temptations, U.S. Marshalls, Lone Star, Losing Isaiah, When A Man Loves a Woman, Sleepless in Seattle, Lorenzo’s Oil, Fried Green Tomatoes, Malcolm X. Her TV credits include “100 Centre Street” (A&E), “Introducing Dorothy Dandridge,” “Unchained Memories: Slave Narratives” (HBO), “Jazz,” “Baseball,” “The Civil War” (PBS), “My Super Sweet 16” (MTV), “The Water is Wide” (Hallmark), “Law & Order,” “Boston Public,” “NYPD Blue,” “Judging Amy,” “Chicago Hope,” “Sesame Street,” “Ally McBeal,” “One Life to Live,” “Nightman.”
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. The Washington Post has called it “one of a handful of great American dramas. A Raisin in the Sun belongs in the inner circle, along with Death of a Salesman and Long Day’s Journey into Night.” The New York Times has hailed it as “the play that changed American theatre forever”.
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 (Denzel Washington), his wife Ruth (Sophie Okonedo), his sister Beneatha (Anika Noni Rose), his son Travis (Bryce Clyde Jenkins) and matriarch Lena, called Mama (LaTanya Richardson Jackson). 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.
Scenic design is by Mark Thompson. Costume design is by Ann Roth. Lighting design is by Brian MacDevitt.
A Raisin In The Sun will be produced by Scott Rudin.
Lia Chang is an actor, a performance and fine art botanical photographer, and an award-winning multi-platform journalist. Lia will make her jazz vocalist debut on March 1, 2014, in Rome Neal’s Banana Puddin’ Jazz “LADY” at the Nuyorican Poets Cafe in New York.
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