A Raisin in the Sun: Diahann Carroll withdraws

Film, television and Tony Award-winning stage actress Diahann Carroll has withdrawn from the upcoming Broadway revival of Lorraine Hansberry's A Raisin in the Sun which is currently in rehearsals. No reason for her departure has been announced.

78 year old Diahann Carroll had been cast to play 'Lena Younger,' the mother of Denzel Washington's character 'Walter Lee Younger.' Carrol has been replaced by 64-year-old LaTanya Richardson Jackson who is just five years older than Washington.

LaTanya Richardson Jackson last appeared on Broadway when she made her Broadway debut starring as 'Bertha Holly' in the 2009 revival of 'Joe Turner's Come and Gone.' She starred Off-Broadway in Sep 2013 as 'Jan' in Regina Taylor's 'stop. reset.' Her movie credits include "The Watsons Go to Birmingham," "Blackout," "All About Us," "Freedomland" and "The Fighting Temptations."

A Raisin in the Sun, directed by Tony nominee Kenny Leon ('Fences'), will star Tony Award-winner and two-time Academy Award-winner Denzel Washington ('Fences,' "Training Day," "Glory") as 'Walter Lee Younger, LaTanya Richardson Jackson as 'Lena Younger,' 'Academy Award-nominee Sophie Okonedo ("Hotel Rwanda") in her Broadway debut as 'Ruth Younger,' Tony Award-winner Anika Noni Rose ('Caroline, or Change') as 'Beneatha Younger,' and director David Cromer in his Broadway acting debut as 'Karl Lindner'

Rounding out the cast are Stephen Tyrone Williams ('Lucky Guy') as 'Joseph Asagai,' Jason Dirden ('Fences') as 'George Murchison,' Tony Award-nominee Stephen McKinley Henderson ('Fences') as 'Bobo' and Bryce Clyde Jenkins as 'Travis Younger.'

A Raisin in the Sun opens on 03 Apr 2013, following previews from 08 Mar 2013, and will play a limited fourteen week engagement through to 15 Jun 2013.

The production plays at the Barrymore Theatre where the A Raisin in the Sun had its Broadway premiere 55 years ago.

Originally produced in 1959, Lorraine Hansberry's A Raisin in the Sun was the first play written by an African American woman to be produced on Broadway. The Washington Post has called it "one of a handful of great American plays - it belongs in the inner circle, along with 'Death of a Salesman' and 'Long Day's Journey into Night.'" The New York Times has hailed it as "the play that changed American theatre forever".

Set on Chicago's South Side, A Raisin in the Sun revolves around the divergent dreams and conflicts within three generations of the Younger family: son Walter Lee (Denzel Washington), his wife Ruth (Sophie Okonedo), his sister Beneatha (Anika Noni Rose), his son Travis (Bryce Clyde Jenkins) and matriarch Lena, called Mama (Diahann Carroll). When her deceased husband's money comes through, Mama dreams of moving to a new home and a better neighborhood in Chicago. Walter Lee, a chauffeur, has other plans: buying a liquor store and being his own man. Beneatha dreams of medical school.

The creative team includes scenic design by Mark Thompson, costumes by Ann Roth and lighting by Brian MacDevitt.

A Raisin in the Sun will be produced by Scott Rudin.

Diahann CarrollLaTanya Richardson Jackson

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