Saturday, April 20, 2024

Denzel’s Broadway “Raisin” Gets Rumored Cast Members


EXCLUSIVE Not announced yet– Denzel Washington is said to be coming to Broadway next spring in a revival of “A Raisin in the Sun.” He’ll play Lorraine Hansberry’s famously haunted hero, Walter Younger. Kenny Leon is directing, Scott Rudin is producing. This reunites the team from Rudin’s very successful revival of “Fences” with Washington.

Now I’m told that two actresses are lined up to join Denzel on stage– Sophie Okenedo and Anika Noni Rose. They are splendid choices to play either Walter Younger’s wife or sister. That would leave just someone to play Walter’s mother. Phylicia Rashad did last go round when Sean Puffy Combs played Walter on Broadway. This is tricky because Denzel is a lot older than most actors who play Younger. He’s 57. So even if he’s trying to get away with 50 on stage, his mother will have to have some years on him.

(The word from Rudin’s people is no casting has been decided on– so this is just strong conjecture at this point.)

Here’s a funny idea, but remember I said this: Cicely Tyson. She’ll be rested from her “Trip to Bountiful” and ready for another Tony Award. She’ll be 89 or 90 by then. Why not? And if anyone can pull this all together, it’s Scott Rudin.

PS If Denzel doesn’t work out for some reason, how about Anthony Mackie? He’s the right age, and he’d be my choice in a second. Plus, Rudin knows his work well.

Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman began his Showbiz411 column in April 2009 after 10 years with Fox News, where he created the Fox411 column. His movie reviews are carried by Rotten Tomatoes, and he is a member of both the movie and TV branches of the Critics Choice Awards. His articles have appeared in dozens of publications over the years including New York Magazine, where he wrote the Intelligencer column in the mid 90s and covered the OJ Simpson trial, and Fox News (when it wasn't so crazy) where he covered Michael Jackson. He is also the writer and co-producer of "Only the Strong Survive," a selection of the Cannes, Sundance, and Telluride Film festivals, directed by DA Pennebaker and Chris Hegedus.

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