Theater Info for the St. Louis region

Maplewood Richmond Heights A Raisin in the Sun

By • Nov 10th, 2011 • Category: Cappies

What happens to a dream deferred? If it is anything like Maplewood Richmond Heights performance of A Raisin in the Sun then there is not anything dried up about it. Performing a Broadway classic written by Lorraine Hansberry that was nominated for four Tony Awards, and adapted into multiple films, MRH had some enormous shoes to fill.

The Youngers are an African-American family living on the south side of Chicago who have only one way out of their tiny little run-down apartment, an insurance check for $10,000. The check may have been to Mama, but everybody has ideas about what to do with the money; $3,000 was going to be set aside for Beneatha the eccentric young sister to go through medical school. Beneatha is the odd one out in the family, dancing around with her feminist ideals and love for her African heritage, she kept a smile on audiences faces through otherwise devastating times.

The rest of the money is put in the care of Walter Lee played by Chris Dubose, who has some questionable dreams of moving up the corporate ladder by opening a liquor store. His expectant wife Ruth, played by Morgan Patterson-Gill, holds everything together, she remains level headed and strong willed; all she wants is to get out. She wants a house, a better life for her family, but when Walter Lee’s associate runs off with all the money, Ruth remains loyal to her husband.

Technical elements for this show were not only detailed and beautiful, but meticulous as well; the set, which was designed by Alejandro Socorro, portrayed a realistic apartment, with everything from the cracks on the walls to the classic refrigerator. Inside of that refrigerator was real food. This among numerous other props showed that Krystal Peterson and Erin Goodenough really outdid themselves. Allowing us to see all of this were the lights designed by Alexis Telford, whose transitions from night to day were lovely.

MRH carried their heavy load, putting on a memorable show that caused explosions of laughter and outbursts of tears.

by Jennifer Boston of McCluer High School

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