Kenny Leon’s revival of A Raisin in the Sun opened on Broadway at the Royale Theatre April 26, 2004. The production played 32 previews and 88 performances before closing July 11, 2004. The production earned four Tony Award nominations, winning Best Actress in a Play for Phylicia Rashad’s performance as Lena Younger and Best Featured Actress in a Musical for Audra McDonald’s performance as Ruth Younger.
Written by Lorraine Hansberry, A Raisin in the Sun tells the story of Walter Younger and his mother, Lena, who 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. The landmark drama, which premiered in 1959, was one of the first on Broadway to examine African-American life on the cusp of the Civil Rights era.