Lorraine Hansberry's 1959 play A Raisin in the Sun is already a true theater classic: It was the first play written by an African American woman to be performed on Broadway, and the original cast — including Sidney Poitier and current Oscar nominee Ruby Dee — was recognized with four Tony Awards. More than 40 years later, a 2004 revival starring Sean Combs, Phylicia Rashad, and Audra McDonald took home two Tony awards of its own.
Now, the majority of the Broadway cast has reunited for a television adaptation for ABC, which will air next Monday, Feb. 25. The movie has already screened at Sundance to positive reviews, and I'm eager to check it out for myself.
The play focuses on a family struggling to make a life for themselves in Chicago in the 1950s. Matriarch Lena Younger (Rashad) starts the story in motion, using money from her late husband's life insurance check to purchase a house in an all-white neighborhood — a move that isn't received well by their new neighbors. Meanwhile, the rest of the money ends up in the hands of Lena's son Walter (Combs), but instead of protecting and saving it to send his sister to medical school, he ends up tied up in a scam that could destroy the family's ambitions. It's a powerful story, and I'm curious to see how it translates to the small screen. To check out a preview, just read more.
Photo copyright 2008 ABC, Inc.