A new production of A Raisin in the Sun, starring Denzel Washington, debuted in the Ethel Barrymore Theater in New York last week. The show is getting good reviews, including one by Ben Brantley of The New York Times.
Describing the set, Brantley writes:
A claustrophobic fatigue pervades the cramped, South Side Chicago apartment in which “A Raisin in the Sun” is set. And despite its often easygoing tone, a happy ending feels far from guaranteed. As designed by Mark Thompson, the Youngers’ living room cum kitchen is a narrow corridor that keeps its three generations of inhabitants in close, erosive proximity.
The kitchenette apartment where the action of A Raisin in the Sun takes place is based on the tiny shared-bath apartments that many African Americans called home in overcrowded, segregated early 20th century Chicago. After seeing the cramped conditions in the area of Chicago known as “The Black Belt,” Julius Rosenwald built the Michigan Boulevard Garden Apartments, a spacious, modern, well-equipped building in the heart of the neighborhood in 1929. A scene from the 1961 film adaptation, starring Sidney Poiter, will be included in The Rosenwald Schools documentary and is already incorpoated in the twenty minute work in progress, which is used for fundraising to complete the movie. For ways to see the work in progress of the film and show it at a fundraising parlour party, contact firstname.lastname@example.org. We would be most grateful and you would be listed among the end credits.
You can read more about the new Broadway production at The New York Times.