On February 25, 2008 ABC will bring Lorraine Hansberry's award winning play A Raisin In The Sun to the small screen in a new film adaptation starring the Broadway revival cast. Sean "P.Diddy" Combs will reprise the role of Walter Lee Younger originally played by the amazing Sidney Poitier, four time Tony Award winner and Private Practice cast member Audra McDonald will reprise the role of Ruth Younger originally played by Ruby Dee, Tony nominee Sanaa Lathan will reprise the role of Beneatha Younger originally played by the late Diana Sands, and a woman who needs no introduction Ms. Phylicia Rashad will reprise the role of Lena Younger originally played by the late Claudia McNeil. Phylicia's performance won her a Tony award for best actress, the first for an African-American actress.
A Raisin In The Sun tells the story of a family living and struggling on Chicago's South Side in the 1950's. A fiercely moving portrait of people whose hopes and dreams are constantly deferred, A Raisin In The Sun was the first play written by an African-American to be produced on Broadway in 1959. A little fact often overlooked about the playwright Lorraine Hansberry is that she was also a lesbian. Prior to her death in 1965 of pancreatic cancer she also penned The Sign in Sidney Brustein's Window, To Be Young, Gifted, and Black, an unfinished novel, and three unfinished plays.
This play holds a special place in my heart because I played Travis Younger, the son of Walter Lee and Ruth Younger as a twelve year old at The Alabama Shakespeare Festival in 1992. It was my very first professional job as a performer and the beginning of my love affair with theater. A Raisin In The Sun is an African-American theater masterpiece. I highly recommend that you read the play and watch the original movie starring Sidney Poitier if you haven't already.
The new film adaptation will be airing the night after the Oscar's on February 25, 2008 8PM ET/PT .