A Raisin in the Sun BROADWAY REVIEWS



  • NBC


  • HR

  • AMNY

Opening Night:
April 3, 2014
June 15, 2014

Theater: Ethel Barrymore / 243 West 47th Street, New York, NY, 10036


An American classic, A Raisin in the Sun takes place in the late ‘50s in a south side Chicago apartment, chronicling the lives of the members of an African-American family. Matriarch Lena plans to buy a home in an all-white neighborhood when she receives a hefty insurance check. Her son Walter dreams of buying a liquor store and being his own man, and her daughter Beneatha dreams of attending medical school. The tensions and prejudice they face create the drama in this beloved play.

  • NEW YORK TIMES REVIEW OF A Raisin in the Sun

    No Rest for the Weary | ‘Raisin in the Sun’ Brings Denzel Washington Back to Broadway

    Ben Brantley

    April 3, 2014: The spark of rebellion, the kind that makes a man stand up and fight, has almost been extinguished in Walter Lee Younger. As portrayed by Denzel Washington in Kenny Leon’s disarmingly relaxed revival of Lorraine Hansberry’s A Raisin in the Sun — which opened on Thursday night at the Ethel Barrymore Theater — Walter appears worn down, worn out and about ready to crawl into bed for good. Frankly, he looks a whole lot older than you probably remember him. That’s partly because, at 59, Mr. Washington, the much laureled movie star, is about a quarter of a century older than the character he is playing, at least as written. (This production bumps Walter’s age up to 40 from 35.) But it’s also because, as this production of Raisin makes clearer than any I’ve seen before, Walter inhabits a world that ages men like him fast.

  • VARIETY REVIEW OF A Raisin in the Sun

    Broadway Review: ‘A Raisin in the Sun’ with Denzel Washington

    Marilyn Stasio

    April 3, 2014: Denzel Washington’s rabid fans won’t be seeing their idol in this heart-stopping revival of Lorraine Hansberry’s ground-breaking 1959 play, A Raisin in the Sun. They’ll be seeing Walter Lee Younger, the scion of a hard-working black family who sees his dreams of success slipping away on the post-WWII racial battlefront of Chicago’s South Side. The performance is a personal triumph for Washington, who refrains from star-strutting to fold himself into a tight-knit ensemble of committed stage thesps who treat this revival like a labor of love.

  • NBC NEW YORK REVIEW OF A Raisin in the Sun

    Review: Thanks to a Strong Ensemble, Director Kenny Leon's "Sun" Shines

    Robert Kahn

    April 3, 2014: Judging by the ubiquitous ads, Denzel Washington is the star attraction of A Raisin in the Sun, which has just opened for a 14-week run at the Barrymore Theatre. Perhaps so, but it’s the performances of the play’s three female leads—most notably LaTanya Richardson Jackson, a replacement for Diahann Carroll as matriarch of the struggling Younger clan—that lingered with me for days afterward. Director Kenny Leon, who also helmed the 2004 Raisin revival with Sean Combs, is firing on all cylinders with his brisk new staging of Lorraine Hansberry’s drama, performed in the same venue where Sidney Poitier played combustible limousine driver Walter Lee Younger more than a half-century ago.

  • TIME OUT NEW YORK REVIEW OF A Raisin in the Sun

    A Raisin in the Sun: Theater review by Adam Feldman

    Adam Feldman

    April 3, 2014: What happens to a play revived? A Raisin in the Sun, Lorraine Hansberry’s powerful 1959 drama, has certainly not dried up: It bursts with intense family conflict, racial politics and social consciousness. Nor, in its new incarnation, does it sag with the heavy load of an underqualified star, as the 2004 Sean Combs revival did. The pivotal role of Walter Lee Younger—a restless Chicago chauffeur and would-be/won’t-be entrepreneur—is played by Denzel Washington; though 20 years older than Walter Lee, he is persuasively youthful (with an apt suggestion of seeming old before his time), and brings considerable charm and magnetism to a difficult, often unsympathetic role. Neither, however, does this production quite explode. Directed by Kenny Leon, who also helmed the 2004 version, this is a credible, realistically scaled account of a still-vital classic.


    A Raisin in the Sun: Theater Review

    David Rooney

    April 3, 2014: Denzel Washington is the star attraction, but it's the harmonious balance of an impeccably matched ensemble that makes Kenny Leon's lovingly staged revival of A Raisin in the Sun so alive with authentic feeling. The warmth as well as the frictions and frustrations of a real family ripple through this lived-in production, with an accomplished cast that nestles deep into every moment of humor, hope and sadness. Even in its more dated passages, Lorraine Hansberry's groundbreaking 1959 play remains a work of stirring compassion and humanity.

  • AM NEW YORK REVIEW OF A Raisin in the Sun

    Theater review: 'A Raisin in the Sun' -- 2 stars

    Matt Windman

    April 3, 2014: It's too bad Denzel Washington didn't play Walter Lee, the dissatisfied 35-year-old protagonist of Lorraine Hansberry's monumental 1959 African-American family drama A Raisin in the Sun, 25 years ago. Now at age 59, there is no escaping the reality that Washington is simply too old to convincingly play the role, resulting in a fundamental imbalance and lack of credibility to the new Broadway revival. By comparison, Sidney Poitier was just 32 years old when he originated the role and Sean Combs (aka P. Diddy) was 34 years old when he did the 2004 Broadway revival.



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