Summary

Raisin is a musical version of Lorraine Hansberry’s Raisin in the Sun produced by Robert Nemiroff with music by Judd Woldin and Robert Brittan. This musical appeared on Broadway and had a total of 847 performances ranging from October 10th, 1973 to December 7th, 1975. The theatres that this show appeared were the 46th Street Theatre and Lunt-Fontanne Theatre. With the setting in Chicago during the 1950s, Raisin was about a black family that all encompassed an array of dreams for their lives. Walter Younger works as a chauffeur, but has dreams of becoming a successful businessman and owning a liquor store with a few other aspiring businessmen. Walter’s sister Beaneatha Younger is an eccentric college student that dares to become a doctor and claims to desire nothing else. These two siblings along with Walter’s wife, Ruth, and his son, Travis, all believe that their lives will be made easier with the arrival of a much anticipated insurance check from their late father. Given that this check is made out to their mother, they continue to express their desires to her hoping for a piece of this money. But, Mama has plans of her own to purchase a much more spacious house with a garden and to leave their current cramped apartment. Mama agrees to invest part of her money into paying for her daughter to go to medical school, part of it to put a down-payment on a new house, and the remainder to her son to help start his liquor store. Walter gets into trouble after he discovers his investment in the store was taken by someone who also posed as a potential liquor store partner. He considers taking back the down payment for the new house to get some money back. Ultimately the family decides to commit to become Clybourne Park residents and start a new chapter in life.

Review

I had seen the modern movie version of A Raisin in the Sun on television about 8 years ago and could not recall the plot well. I enjoyed watching this musical as I could relate to the daughter who was interested in her African ancestry and her desire to become a physician. Also there were a number of funny moments throughout the musical. I noticed that there was a theme of patriarchy between Walter and the women of the household, Beaneatha, Ruth, and Mama. When the women  tried asserting their thoughts, a few times Walter dismissed them in an uproar suggesting that they should supportive of that man  (him) or strive to be a nurse instead of a doctor. I think this was an interesting theme given that the women outnumbered him in the household, but there was still an exercised or perceived power structure. The genre of songs that appeared during the musical seemed to follow blues, jazz, and somewhat soul. I thought it was interesting that all of Mama’s songs were sung acapella with no background music as if her character were much different or lonelier than the others in the musical.

Soundtrack/Musical Numbers

  1. Prologue – Orchestra
  2. Man Say (Walter Lee and Ruth)
  3. Whose Little Angry Man (Ruth)
  4. Runnin’ to Meet the Man (Walter Lee & Company)
  5. A Whole Lotta Sunlight (Mama)
  6. Booze (Bar Girl, Willie, Bobo, Walter Lee and company)
  7. Alaiyo (Joseph and Beneatha)
  8. Sweet Time (Ruth and Walter Lee)
  9. You Done Right (Walter Lee and Mama)
  10. He Come Down This Morning (Company)
  11. It’s a Deal (Walter Lee)
  12. Sidewalk Tree (Travis)
  13. It’s a Deal – Coda (Walter Lee)
  14. Not Anymore (Walter Lee, Ruth, Beneatha and Mama)
  15. It’s A Deal (Reprise) (Walter Lee, Ruth and Mama)
  16. Measure the Valleys (Beneatha and Mama)
  17. Finale

Cast

Loretta AbbottVictim 
Deborah AllenBeneatha Younger 
Walter P. BrownWillie Harris 
Karen BurkePeople of the Southside 
Virginia CapersLena Younger 
Paul CarringtonPeople of the Southside 
Ralph CarterTravis Younger 
Herb DownerPastor 
Marilyn HamiltonPeople of the Southside 
Ernestine JacksonRuth Younger 
Robert JacksonJoseph Asagai 
Helen MartinMrs. Johnson 
Joe MortonWalter Lee Younger 

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Amirah Anderson

Amirah Anderson

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