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A Raisin in the Sun has had a great impact on the theater goers as it presents a true picture of the African-American experiences. Thus making the audiences walk away with a totally changed notion of it. According to The New York Times the play “changed American theater forever”. On the other hand, the New York Drama Critics Circle called it the best play of 1959, the year its first Broadway production hit the theaters. With Southside, Chicago in the backdrop, A Raisin in the Sun has been written by Lorraine Hansberry and produced by Philip Rose and David J. Cogan. It premiered at Ethel Barrymore Theatre meeting with positive reviews. Consequently fetching four Tony Award nominations. It reflects Lorraine’s incisive take on the desperate attempts of African-Americans to be accepted by the whites. The play throws light on the trying times faced by the African-Americans and certainly helps the audiences come face to face with reality. Watch the experiences come to life by grabbing A Raisin in the Sun tickets.
The title has been taken from Langston Hughes’ poem called Harlem. The opening lines “What happens to a dream deferred? Does it dry up like a raisin in the sun?” indeed set the mood of the play giving a hint of what lies next. There is a lot more to it than meets the eye. It is not only the acceptance of a race but the internal conflicts and the financial crisis faced by the family led by a widow, Lena Younger. Other members include Walter Lee Younger (Lena’s son), Ruth Younger (Walter’s wife), Beneatha Younger (Lena’s daughter) and Travis Younger (Walter’s son). The play brings to the fore true events taken from the writer’s own life. Today her recollection of bitter sweet memories has become one of the greatest plays in the history of theater. In A Raisin in the Sun Lena leaves Southside in hopes of having a better future for her family. But turns out they are confronted by one ordeal after another.
Lena looks forward to the 10,000 dollar life insurance check while Walter plans on spending this money on the liquor store which is clearly a risky investment. Whereas Beneatha who has plans of attending a medical school is hoping that the money from the insurance will prove to be a helping hand in her life too. To find out how the family gets past the hurdles purchase A Raisin in the Sun tickets. Since the play has been a gigantic hit there have been other versions of it that have come up in the past. In 1961 a film of the same name was released amassing a positive response from the audiences and critics alike. It featured the original cast; Louis Gossett Jr, Sidney Poitier, John Fiedler, Ruby Dee, Ivan Dixon, Diana Sands and Claudia McNeil. The film bagged Golden Globe Award nominations while winning a Gary Cooper Award and National Board of Review Award. In 1989 a TV film also surfaced starring John Fiedler, Esther Rolle, Danny Glover, Starletta DuPois and Kim Yancey. Produced and directed by Chiz Schultz and Bill Duke, the film received two Emmy Award nominations.
The year 2008 saw the emergence of another TV film under the same name. This production was directed by Kenny Leon with Sean Combs in the cast. In 1973 A Raisin in the Sun made a comeback as a Broadway production. It was a musical titled Raisin with music and lyrics by Judd Woldin and Robert Brittan. The production was well received as it saw more than eight hundred performances and won two Tony Awards and three Theatre World Awards. The New York Times called it “a warm and loving work” while appreciating the gesture of making a Broadway production as opposed to films or other adaptations. The musical comprised Joe Morton, Ralph Cartel, Debbie Allen, Virginia Capers and Ernestine Jackson. Clybourne Park, a play by Bruce Norris and a television series named Strangers with Candy also take inspiration from A Raisin in the Sun. Lauded by critics and theater goers the play has time and again been described as one of the greatest works by Lorraine Hansberry. Buy A Raisin in the Sun tickets and witness a masterpiece.
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