'A Raisin in the Sun' With Denzel Washington Joins the Club of Broadway Season's Profitable Plays
NEW YORK – With grosses of more than $1 million a week throughout its 14-week limited engagement, there was never any danger that the Broadway revival of A Raisin in the Sun would end its sellout run on Sunday without turning a profit. But producers made it official this week, confirming that the play has recouped its entire capitalization of $4.25 million.
Starring Denzel Washington, LaTanya Richardson Jackson, Sophie Okonedo and Anika Noni Rose, the revival was nominated for five Tony Awards and won three on Sunday night – more than any other nonmusical this season. It took the prizes for best revival of a play, direction of a play (Kenny Leon) and featured actress in a play (Okonedo).
The production is the second Broadway revival of Lorraine Hansberry’s 1959 modern classic about a quarrelsome African-American family from Chicago’s South Side looking to carve out a better life. Leon also directed the play's prior revival in 2004.
The current production got an extra shot of media attention when President Barack Obama and first lady Michelle Obama attended a performance on April 11.
Produced by Scott Rudin, the revival opened at the Ethel Barrymore Theatre on April 3 following a month of previews. It has grossed $14.9 million to date and has been seen by almost 109,000 people.
Other plays that have recouped their investment on Broadway this season include Of Mice and Men, with James Franco and Chris O’Dowd; Tony winner All the Way, with Bryan Cranston; The Glass Menagerie, with Cherry Jones and Zachary Quinto; Betrayal, with Daniel Craig, Rachel Weisz and Rafe Spall; the Shakespeare’s Globe double of Twelfth Night and Richard III, with Tony winner Mark Rylance; and the return engagement of Billy Crystal’s 700 Sundays.