Denzel Washington will return to Broadway in an upcoming revival of “A Raisin in the Sun.”
As rumors that Washington was considering the Broadway return began to circulate this week, director Kenny Leon confirmed to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution that Washington will in fact be in the production. Along with producer Scott Rudin, the new revival will have the same director, producer and star as the 2010 revival of “Fences,” which won a Tony Award for Best Revival of a Play — Washington won a Tony for his performance, as well.
“I am going to direct a revival of ‘Raisin in the Sun.’ Denzel is going to do it,” Leon told the Atlanta newspaper. “We start rehearsals next Jan. 27 and open on Broadway April 3. I’m not going to say anything else about it. We are almost fully cast, and we’ll probably make a (formal) announcement soon.”
Leon also directed a 2004 Broadway adaptation of the Lorraine Hansberry play, which resulted in Tony Awards for Phylicia Rashad and Audra McDonald. Sean Combs also starred in the play. Leon went on to direct a 2008 television adaptation, as well.
Here’s how the 2004 Broadway version was billed:
Lorraine Hansberry’s landmark drama was one of the first on Broadway to examine African-American life on the cusp of the civil rights era. Walter Younger and his mother, Lena, both yearn to move their family out of Chicago’s Southside ghetto. When Lena’s late husband’s insurance check arrives, Lena hopes to use it to buy a house in a white neighborhood — while Walter hopes to invest it in a liquor business.
Fences was the most recent Broadway appearance for Washington, though he also has appeared in “Julius Caesar” and “Checkmate.” The former was staged in 2005, while the latter was performed back in 1988.