Huntington delivers a hot ‘Raisin in the Sun’

Ashley Everage and LeRoy McClain are on fire in "A Raisin in the Sun," playing now at the Huntington Theatre (264 Huntington Ave., Boston) through April 7. (PHOTO CREDIT: T. Charles Erickson)
Ashley Everage and LeRoy McClain are on fire in “A Raisin in the Sun,” playing now at the Huntington Theatre (264 Huntington Ave., Boston) through April 7.
(PHOTO CREDIT: T. Charles Erickson)

 

The Huntington Theatre Company captures the desperation that fuels Lorraine Hansberry’s classic words in its stunning production of “A Raisin in the Sun.”

Director Liesl Tommy challenges all of your senses in her masterful recreation of the Younger family’s big chance at realizing their dreams. Clint Ramos’ set spins often enough to induce a hint of dizziness while simultaneously creating the feeling that the characters are trapped in a maze with only false hopes of finding a way out.

The jarring music of Broken Chord sets the perfect tone for this family whose claustrophobically intertwined lives find a glimmer of hope in a large check that arrives by mail. Sadly, the family’s biggest challenges to date are a direct result of the freedom this money promises.

Tommy, thankfully, mines every word of this masterful play for its humor and the result is an abundance of side-splitting moments. The banter as the family all vie for breakfast and bathroom privileges is hilarious as are the romantic escapades of younger sister Beneatha (Keona Welch). Her Nigerian folk dance is one of the moments people were talking about long after the curtain came down.

LeRoy McClain creates incredible emotional highs and lows as the ultimate dream seeker Walter Lee. His performance, while brilliant, is exhausting to watch. His calamity is matched with the impeccable grace and stoicism of Ashley Everage as his mother Lena. Kimberly Scott also nails every nuance of his long-suffering, eternally hopeful wife Lena.


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