After unconfirmed rumors from Showbiz411, the man himself, Denzel Washington has confirmed that he is indeed returning to Broadway in 2014 to star in a revival of Lorraine Hansberry’s A Raisin in the Sun, to be directed by Kenny Leon.
Washington confirmed the rumors last night at the New York premiere of his action-comedy 2 Guns, the Wall Street Journal reported.
Although he didn’t say whether he’ll be joined by Sophie Okenedo, Anika Noni Rose and Diahann Carroll , as Showbiz411 also previously reported. But since they got Denzel’s involvement right (as well as the play, director and producer), I’d assume that they are also correct on the casting of the 3 actresses.
Denzel didn’t tell the WSJ what role he’ll be playing in the production, but, really, who else would it be but the lead protagonist, Walter Lee Younger? Certainly not Joseph Asagai nor George Murchison. Besides, I don’t see Denzel returning to Broadway to take a supporting role.
Assuming Sophie Okenedo and Anika Noni Rose are indeed attached, they’d likely play Walter Younger’s sister (Beneatha) and wife (Ruth).
Showbiz411 pegged Diahann Carroll as the family matriarch, Lena (“mama”).
Scott Rudin will produce.
Clearly, the producers of the show aren’t adhering strictly to Hansberry’s original material, given that Denzel is 58 years old (he’ll be 59 in December, and by the time the play is reportedly scheduled to begin its run next year).
Walter Lee Younger is a 35-year-old man, which is about how old Sidney Poitier was when he originated the role in 1960 (he was 33 years old). And most recently, in 2004, Sean Puffy Combs (of all people) was 35 when he played Walter on Broadway.
To be frank, I’m not high on the project, in part because it was just recently on Broadway, in 2004, with Sean Combs playing Walter Lee Younger, Audra McDonald as his wife Ruth Younger, Phylicia Rashad as mama Lena Younger, and Sanaa Lathan as Beneatha.
Another revival of the play, 10 years later, seems a bit too soon, especially when there are SO MANY other plays that could be done here.
But with this cast, I’m sure it’ll be a hot seller, and a box office smash!