Tony Award-winning actress Diahann Carroll was scheduled to return to Broadway for the revival of A Raisin in the Sun , co-starring with Denzel Washington this spring. This was to mark her first time back on Broadway in 30 years.
However, Carroll has issued a statement saying that she will not be appearing in the show, and LaTanya Richardson Jackson, Samuel L. Jackson’s wife, will replace her as the role of matriarch Lena Younger and Washington’s mother (even though she is only five years older than him).
“The pace of filming movies and TV projects is quite different than the extensive amount of time preparing and appearing ‘live’ on Broadway eight times a week. I enjoyed working with Scott Rudin, Denzel Washington, Kenny Leon and an amazing cast and I wish them well,” Carroll said in the statement.
A representative for the production of A Raisin in the Sun said that Carroll withdrew from the show “due to the vigorous demands of the rehearsal and performance schedule.”
A Raisin in the Sun will mark Richardson Jackson’s first role on Broadway since she starred in the 2009 revival of Joe Turner’s Come and Gone. Washington last appeared on Broadway in 2005 during a production of Julius Caesar. Anika Noni Rose and Sophie Okonedo will also appear alongside Richardson Jackson and Washington.
This will be the second revival of the play. The original production occurred in 1959 and featured Sidney Poitier, Ruby Dee, Claudia McNeil and Diana Sands. They all later reunited for a 1961 film adaptation. The last time A Raisin in the Sun appeared on Broadway was in 2004 and starred Diddy, Phylicia Rashad, Sanaa Lathan and Audra McDonald.
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