Road to the Tonys: ‘Hedwig,’ ‘Raisin’ Raise Stock of Broadway Revivals

Originally posted on Variety:

In principle, I am against Broadway revivals. Theatre needs to encourage young playwrights, so why lavish all that money and attention on an old work?

However, reality can shatter principles like mine, and this season offered several vivid reminders of that fact. Exhibit A: Lorraine Hansberry’s “A Raisin in the Sun.”

It’s a testament to Hansberry’s talent that the 1959 play is still so timely; conversely, it’s troubling that too little has changed. The play centers on a small family inheritance; the play is about money, but it’s really about a struggle for identity. The characters talk about America’s double standards for whites and blacks, assimilation, appreciation of African heritage, and the pain/pride about ancestors’ past struggles. And a “friendly” Caucasian insists his attitude is practical, not racist. This play could have been written last week.

Broadway had an excellent production of “Raisin” 10 years ago, but at a recent…

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