Two-time Academy Award winner Denzel Washington

Lorraine Hansberry's a Raisin in the Sun

Directed by Kenny Leon

LaTanya Richardson Jackson

14 Weeks Only, Barrymore Theatre, 243 West 47th Street

Press

Tony Awards

Patrick Healy - June 8, 2014

A resonant production of Lorraine Hansberry’s “A Raisin in the Sun” took prizes for best revival of a play, best supporting actress (for Sophie Okonedo) and the director Kenny Leon. In those major categories it bested the recent revival of “The Glass Menagerie,” which did win the first Tony (for best lighting) in the history of all seven Broadway productions of that Tennessee Williams classic.

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Tonys: 'A Raisin in the Sun' Wins Best Revival of a Play

Kimberly Nordyke - June 8, 2014

The production beat out The Cripple of Inishmaan, The Glass Menagerie and Twelfth Night to take home the trophy at the 68th annual awards show. The revival of the landmark drama about a black Chicago family featured Denzel Washington, Tony winner Sophie Okonedo, Anika Noni Rose and LaTanya Richardson Jackson in its April bow.

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'Raisin in the Sun' wins the Tony Award for Best Revival of a Play

Karen Butler - June 9, 2014

The latest incarnation of Lorraine Hansberry's classic family drama, A Raisin in the Sun, was named Best Revival of a Play at the Tony Awards ceremony in New York Sunday night. The show also earned the prizes for Best Director of a Play for Kenny Leon and Best Featured Actress in a Play for Sophie Okonedo.

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Tonys 2014: 'A Raisin in the Sun' wins best revival of a play

Christy Khoshaba - June 8, 2014

"A Raisin in the Sun," Lorraine Hansberry’s prize-winning drama, was named best revival of a play at the 68th Tony Awards, presented Sunday night at Radio City Music Hall. Directed by Kenny Leon, the production stars Academy Award winner Denzel Washington as the head of a poor Chicago family determined to become wealthy.

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Tony Awards 2014: Best/worst moments

Thom Geier - June 9, 2014

Sophie Okenedo's lovely acceptance speech for featured actress in A Raisin in the Sun. "Blimey," she begins, before thanking producers who "somehow had the vision that a Jewish Nigerian Brit could come over the pond and play one of America's most iconic parts."

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Tony Awards: Best and Worst Moments (Photos)

Ashley Lee - June 9, 2014

'A Raisin in the Sun': Kenny Leon took home the Tony for directing the revival of A Raisin in the Sun, and immediately kicked off his acceptance speech with, "Denzel, Denzel, Denzel."

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★★★★ 'A RAISIN IN THE SUN' SHINES WITH DENZEL WASHINGTON

Elysa Gardner - April 3, 2014

4 stars. Washington’s is a vibrant, searing performance, and it’s matched fully by those of his co-stars. LaTanya Richardson Jackson shows us the wit and grit that have sustained this matriarch. Sophie Okonedo conveys Ruth’s weariness and resilience to heart-wrenching effect. The sublime Anika Noni Rose defies gravity.

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'A RAISIN IN THE SUN'

Roma Torre - April 4, 2014

Every rare while, a great play is given the production it deserves. That's how it is with this revival of "A Raisin In The Sun". And because the 55-year-old work remains astonishingly relevant today, I can happily say Denzel and company are "da bomb."

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BLAZIN' 'RAISIN' FOR DENZEL

Michael Giltz - April 8, 2014

The top-notch cast in this revival of A Raisin In The Sun is unassailable. Like all classics, Lorraine Hansberry's Raisin feels utterly relevant for today, with working class people realizing no matter how hard they struggle, they're falling further and further behind.

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THANKS TO A STRONG ENSEMBLE, DIRECTOR KENNY LEON'S 'SUN' SHINES

Robert Kahn - April 3, 2014

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. 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.

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LORRAINE HANSBERRY WRITES HOME IN A NEW PRODUCTION

Alexis Soloski - April 9, 2014

Kenny Leon directs in broad strokes, encouraging his cast to telegraph emotion with each gesture and expression. This should oversimplify the play; instead it somehow lends it clarity, particularly when performed by actors as skillful as the staunch Richardson, the spirited Anika Noni Rose, the affecting Sophie Okonedo, and Denzel Washington, who throws himself into the role with reckless grace.

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'A RAISIN IN THE SUN,' ETHEL BARRYMORE THEATRE

Brendan Lemon - April 4, 2014

I have never seen a poor production of A Raisin in the Sun. After watching Kenny Leon’s affecting Broadway staging of Lorraine Hansberry’s 1959 classic, this time starring Denzel Washington as the dream-chasing chauffeur Walter Lee Younger, I still haven’t. I marvelled again at the solid construction – the confrontations that avoid preachiness, the jokes that pop up in exactly the right places.

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'A RAISIN IN THE SUN' STIRRING

Matt Wolf - April 4, 2014

The play is far more than a star turn. Rooted in a dispute about money, it widens out to encompass far larger societal issues. At the end it finds mother and son preparing for the brave new racially integrated world that Hansberry, for all her prescience, didn’t live to see.

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WILL SOPHIE DANCE OVER TO LONDON?

Baz Bamigboye - March 27, 2014

Sophie Okonedo is making her Broadway debut in the classic American play A Raisin In The Sun. I’ve seen it many times over the years and thought I knew it well, but as I sat watching a preview in the Ethel Barrymore Theatre I had a blinding sense that I was witnessing Lorraine Hansberry’s 1959 drama for the first time.

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★★★★ DENZEL WASHINGTON SHINES IN A BRACING REVIVAL

Tom Sellar - April 4, 2014

The cast is generally excellent, with taut performances of varying depths. As a result, we see that Hansberry created a whole family of protagonists: it's no longer Walter's play alone. Sophie Okonedo, as his distressed wife, Ruth, becomes the drama's mournful foundation. As the free-thinking sister Beneatha, Anika Noni Rose radiates the youthful desires that defined the next decade's rebellions. When her mother (LaTanya Richardson Jackson) shakes her head and asks, "What is it that's changing?" we realise that Hansberry captured an era's generational divide as well as a nation's racial struggle. Remounted in the spot where it made theatre history, her play continues to illuminate.

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DENZEL WASHINGTON SERVES A GREAT AMERICAN PLAY

Michael Sommers - April 9, 2014

Denzel Washington may be the star who is attracting audiences to this revival, but his performance as Walter Lee Younger is merely one solid component in the well-meshed ensemble directed so sensitively and effectively by Kenny Leon, who also staged “A Raisin in the Sun” on Broadway a decade ago. Leon obviously knows the play inside and out and he is able to gently accent its many thematic nuances while making the drama appear to spontaneously unfold.

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TONY AWARD WINNER DENZEL WASHINGTON RETURNS TO THE BROADWAY STATE AS WALTER LEE YOUNGER IN LORRAINE HANSBERRY'S RACIALLY CHARGED CLASSIC PLAY

Haylee Levitt - April 3, 2014

Despite this web of family drama and profound social issues that Hansberry has packed both deftly and densely into three robust acts (though this production is presented as two acts), Leon has refreshingly directed the play with a minimally earnest hand. He ratchets up the humor, forgoing an unrelenting torrent of melodrama for a few carefully selected moments of crushing weight. You don't just root for the Youngers to find happier days — you genuinely like them and cheer for Walter when he finally tucks in his shirt and takes his first steps into manhood.

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KENNY LEON'S STERLING SECOND GO AT 'A RAISIN IN THE SUN'

Michael Dale - April 4, 2014

Denzel Washington, giving his finest New York stage performance since returning to Broadway as a Hollywood star, leads an exemplary company that gives the 55-year-old landmark drama a lively, endearing and emotion-pulling turn.

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Man on Fire

Jeremy Gerard - April 9, 2014

Great plays deserve to be mounted and remounted as often as the talent is there to breathe life into them, and with Denzel Washington as Walter for a new generation, A Raisin in the Sun breathes life aplenty.

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‘A Raisin in the Sun’ Ethel Barrymore Theatre

Frank Scheck - April 4, 2014

Director Leon’s pitch-perfect staging features not a weak link among the ensemble. Washington, one of those rare movie stars with serious theatrical chops—he won the Tony for his last Broadway turn, in Fences—superbly conveys Walter’s immature recklessness while also commanding the stage with his charismatic physicality. Okonedo, best known for her Oscar-nominated performance in Hotel Rwanda, is heartbreaking as the long-suffering Ruth who’s deeply in love with her husband despite his flaws; Rose is luminous as the younger woman whose innate joyfulness is expressed in her undulating dancing while wearing traditional African garb; and Jackson is both fierce and lovingly maternal as the matriarch whose indomitable strength has kept the family together.

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