A Raisin in the Sun is back with a bang

A Raisin in the Sun is one of the plays making a long awaited return to Broadway this year. Lorraine Hansberry’s 1959 classic has adapted for the theater many times, and it has always boasted of a star-studded cast. Sidney Poitier, Sean Combs, etc are some of the famous names that have acted in this poignant family drama. Raisin in the Sun returned to Broadway on the 3rd of April, starring none other than Denzel Washington. The play is an unabashed chronicle of a mid-century black family in America. It’s also a family portrait like no other. The Younger family resides in Chicago, with three generations of Youngers residing under the same, crumbling roof. Grandfather Younger dies, leaving his wife, Lena, with an insurance check the family can certainly use. But how do three whole generations dream of using the money they have always wanted?   The plot is simple and straightforward, and the cast brings the story to life. Like all families, the Younger family members relate to each other in a specific way; a way that is entirely too tangible on stage. LeTanya Richardson Jackson’s portrayal of Lena is probably one of the best- she handles her role as the matriarch of the family effortlessly. Sophie Okenodo does a brilliant job of portraying Ruth’s inner anguish and emotion, hidden under a tough exterior. Washington plays the character of Walter Lee with effortless charm and dedication.       The drama’s rather brisk in it’s pace, and the characters are extremely well developed. The characters are so strong, you find yourself empathizing with them, even when they are at their best. If you were looking for something simple, yet strong to watch this season, A Raisin in the Sun is your best bet....

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Of Mice and Men- Emotional and Well Performed

It’s never easy adapting a literary classic for the stage. It’s more difficult to portray beloved literary characters in a way that would still be emotional for those who have read the book. Of Mice and Men, which opened on the 19th of March, has succeeded on both the fronts. It’s a wonderful stage adaptation of one of the best American novels of all times, and  Chris O’Dowd and James Franco manage to tug heartstrings with no effort at all.   Franco and O’Dowd made their Broadway debut as George Milton and Lennie Small in the Broadway adaptation of John Steinbeck’s popular novel. The play also stars Leighton Meester, of Gossip Girls fame, as Curly, the flirtatious wife who brings about Lennie’s downfall. Anna Shapiro also does a wonderful job as the director.   The best part about Of Mice and Men is the fact that it’s a sum of parts. It works because it gets all the little things right. The actors hit it right on the nail, the direction is simply effortless, and the sets are terribly authentic. Looking at the set, you will certainly believe that you are living during the Great Depression, right next to the ranch.   Chris O’Dowd is certainly the star of the show. From the moment he steps on the stage, he IS  Lennie. He manages to do his part as the big, clumsy, lovable idiot wonderfully. Franco’s ability to showcase George’s emotional turmoil regarding Lennie is heart wrenching. It’s no surprise that the show did so well in the box office- opening at $688,832. The cast and crew of the play were pleasantly surprised about the strong opening- I’m most certainly not. It is one of the strongest plays of the season, and hopefully, will get the recognition it deserves during the Tony nominations....

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