During the play's extremely successful 12 week run on Broadway, Washington was joined by the magnificent Viola Davis, and the two powerhouse actors, along with a gifted supporting cast, delivered high quality performances filled with drama and emotion. I can happily attest to this fact as I was fortunate enough to witness this magic in the flesh. So I was not the least bit surprised to see both Washington and Davis pick up the American theatre world's highest accolades, Tony Award Best Actor and Actress respectively.
Now comes news that Denzel Washington will be treading the boards once again, this time in a revival of Lorraine Hansberry's 1959 classic play 'A Raisin In The Sun', dealing with an African American family from the South Side of Chicago struggling to rise up from their poverty stricken surroundings and achieve a better life. The same winning combination from 'Fences', producer Scott Rudin and director Kenny Leon will be on hand, alongside a prestigous cast. After a 30 year absence from the Broadway stage, Tony Award winning actress Diahann Carroll will play Denzel's character's mother, the head of the family. Other cast members include Anika Noni Rose ('Dreamgirls' 'The Princess & The Frog') and Sophie Okonedo ('Hotel Rwanda').
While on the red carpet for the New York premiere of his new (comedy) movie, '2 Guns' (which also stars Mark Wahlberg) last Monday, Washington said ,"We start previews in March" which was received with sets of tongues wagging with joy in several quarters. Me included. The original 1959 production of 'A Raisin In The Sun', which received several Tony Awards nominations, starred Sidney Poitier and he, along with many of the original cast appeared in the 1961 film version. Another version of the play was filmed in 2008 with Sean Combs, Sanaa Lathan and Phylicia Rashad. I have included trailers for both.
The 1961 trailer:
The 2008 trailer: