A Raisin in the Sun is a play by Lorraine Hansberry that debuted on Broadway in 1959. The title comes from the poem “Harlem” by Langston Hughes.
My mother’s job gave her complimentary tickets to see A Raisin In The Sun at Arena Stage located in Southwest DC near the waterfront.
I have never seen the original play or the movie but I didn’t want to spoil my experience by looking it up beforehand. If you are like me, stop reading this post right now. I won’t spoil it but I will give background and details about this all-time classic play.
Before heading to the play my mother and I parked at the public parking garage on 4th st. (across from the Safeway) because they offered a discounted night/weekend rate of $14. It is nearly impossible to find street parking. Also, Arena stage is in a neighborhood that is going through gentrification (the process of renovating and improving a house or district so that it conforms to middle-class taste) so Arena Stage advises that those visiting park as close as possible.
My sister joined us for the evening as well and we decided it would be nice to eat dinner before the play. We picked Station 4 and tried to get a table without a reservation but the hostess told us they were full for the night but if we saw a bar table, grab it!
SN: Station 4 offers a discount on your meal if you are attending a show/play at Arena Stage.
Thankfully, we found a high table in the bar area. You don’t have to order from the bar menu, you can ask for the dinner menu too. Everyone’s food was pretty good and I was satisfied with the service.
Station 4 pizza
A Raisin In The Sun is based on the African-American family that has a dream. Each individual character has a dream that seems out of arms reach. This particular family is five/six generations from slavery. Even though they are free from captivity they still struggle from gaining the freedom from poverty and the obstacles that keep them from achieving a life of wealth and comfort.
“Seem like God didn’t seem fit to give the – black man nothing but dreams – but he did give us children to make them dreams seem worthwhile.” – Mama, Act One, Scene One, A Raisin In The Sun
I loved the stage set up for A Raisin In The Sun. From the very beginning to the very end each actor/actress had your attention. But I will say that Lizan Mitchell who played Lena Younger did a PHENOMENAL job. She made me feel every emotion and by the end, I felt as if she were my mother/grandmother. Will Cobbs who played Walter Lee Younger executed his character role to a T. He really personified every black man’s frustration, hopes, dreams, coping with hard times, pride, and a journey into his manhood to do what is right.
At the end of the play my eyes were filled with tears and the entire crowd applauded non-stop until every last actor/actress left the stage.
Please support Arena Stage and all the people that make A Raisin In The Sun possible. To learn more about the play and buy tickets click here: Tickets