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Wednesday, September 17, 2014
Reviews by Elyse Trevers
Two plays about Mothers
Raisin in the Sun & Mothers and Sons

Just in time for Mother’s Day - two plays about mothers. Both "Raisin in the Sun" and "Mothers and Sons" feature mothers and their relationships with their children. Both also feature celebrities.

Although it’s only been 10 years since the last hit revival of Lorraine Hansberry’s award winning play Raisin in The Sun, director Kenny Leon has once again mounted an outstanding show with a stellar cast. Starring movie actor Denzel Washington, the play already has a huge advance sale for its limited run. Set in the late 1950s, Lena, the mama (the remarkable Latanya Richardson Jackson) and her family await the arrival of a $10,000 insurance check; money that each member dreams will change their lives. Adult son Walter (Washington) hopes to get the money to invest in a liquor store, and his sister, college student Beneatha (Anika Noni Rose) hopes to become a doctor, while Ruth, Walter’s wife (Sophie Okonedo), just dreams of rekindling her relationship with her husband. The sage Lena observes it all, sometimes being strict and instructive, but always knowing when to support her children.

Money can open doors but emotion encourages aspiration. Lena understands; especially when she encourages Beneatha to stop seeing the wealthy shallow college boy she’s been dating. After Walter loses the money his mother has entrusted him with, she realizes how despondent he is and doesn’t berate him; he’s already beating himself up. She goes one step further to building him up by acknowledging him as the head of the family when someone offers to buy the new house she has purchased.

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