Pull up a seat and have a steaming cup with me as we discuss issues central to the west-indian community, the african-american community and the LGBT community.

Monday, February 25, 2008

A Raisin in the Sun

By Vanessa Juarez
For those with Oscar-speech fatigue, you can catch some stellar performances in, yes, a TV movie on ABC tonight. It's called A Raisin in the Sun (read the EW review). Maybe you've heard of it — the 1959 Lorraine Hansberry play about African-American upward mobility that was remade as a Sidney Poitier film a year later and again revived on Broadway in 2004. Reprising their stage roles for the adaptation are Sean Combs, Audra McDonald, Phylicia Rashad, and Sanaa Lathan. They play the Youngers, a family trying to find their American dream while living on Chicago's South Side in the 1950s. When Lena (Rashad) finally gets the $10,000 life insurance check she's been waiting for, they have to work out how it gets spent. Walter Lee Jr. (Combs) has his heart set on starting a business, his wife Ruth (McDonald) simply wants a bigger home that doesn't creak and has a bathroom of its own, and his sister Beneatha (Lathan) wants to finish up college so she can become a doctor. Rounding out the troupe is John Stamos, who plays Mr. Linder, the neighborhood association rep who hasn't, let's just say, seen the light.
Yes!! I've been waiting to see this for sometime now so I'm delighted it's being brought to TV. The original movie starring Ruby Dee and fellow Bahamian (woot,woot) Sidney Poitier, is still one of my favorite movies of all time. The story is really touching and I suggested to several people, in anticipation of this premiere, that they go out and rent the original. It will change your life.
As a black person in these post-modern times, with the very real possibility of a black man becoming president, this story, written so brilliantly by Lorraine Hansbury really hits hard and reminds us of from whence we came. If you haven't yet, you have to see Poitier's performance which earned him a Golden Globe nomination in 1962 (was I even a gleam in my father's eye back then to know what else was nominated? Of course not, but, still I think he should have won). Check out this scene, one of the best in the whole movie, watch the passion in every move, facial expression and gesture Sidney makes.

Whoooo, powerful!! And that Bahamian accent really came out when he got mad! :)
After seeing that again just now, I'm slightly worried about what 'Diddy' will do in the same role especially since I'm not his biggest fan. Of course, I'm sure he can't begin to compare to Sidney, I mean, who can? But to his credit, the reviews say he did a fine job. I even heard that when he started the play on broadway he had an exact replica of the set built in his home so that he could practice every day after performing in the show. Pretty impressive. I also heard he's even better in the movie than he was in the play. I guess I'll see for myself tonight tonight at 8pm. I'm very excited.

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