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Baltimore Arts

Best Production

A Raisin in the Sun, Everyman Theatre

Everyman Theatre’s current show, Lorraine Hansberry’s A Raisin in the Sun, is one of the best Maryland traditional theater productions of the past 10 years, ranking right up there with Center Stage’s Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf? Rep Stage’s The Goat, or Who Is Sylvia?, and the Performance Workshop Theatre’s Faith Healer. It helps, of course, that it’s a great script, but director Jennifer Nelson and her terrific cast have dug more meaning and feeling out of the dialogue than any other production one is likely to see. As in Chekhov’s The Cherry Orchard, one can see a family on the brink of disaster pushing itself over the edge with one bad decision after another, and it hurts to watch because the family members are so immensely appealing. They want to do the right thing, but they are overwhelmed by their own passions and by the tightening vise of history. The three leads—Lizan Mitchell as Mama, KenYatta Rogers as Walter Lee, and Everyman regular Dawn Ursula as Ruth—are fabulous as they try their best to help each other whenever they aren’t fighting over all their accumulated resentments.

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