President Obama and First Lady Michelle took the night off Friday and hit the town to see Denzel Washington in “A Raisin in the Sun.” Tickets for the Broadway masterpiece are hard to come by, but course the POTUS managed to pull the best seats in the house.
According to reports, the Obamas entered the Ethel Barrymore Theatre — where the Lorraine Hansberry production first opened more than 50 years ago — to huge applause. During intermission, they made their way backstage to meet and take pictures with the cast, which included LaTanya Richardson Jackson, Sophie Okonedo, Anika Noni Rose, Sean Patrick Thomas and David Cromer.
Richardson said the first couple gave the play rave reviews. “They loved it,” the actress told People magazine after the show. “I don’t want to say they’re coming back, but [Michelle] is trying to come back with her mom. And she goes to a lot of shows with the girls.”
“I hugged her! I just couldn’t help it. She just feels so approachable,” Okonedo said, adding Mrs. Obama told the cast, “I loved the show.”
Okonedo, who plays the wife of Denzel Washington’s character, went on to say that it was hard to get back in character after intermission. “That was quite difficult to focus,” she said of the experience.. “We also really know what we’re doing, so eventually your body and mouth just take over, so you feel like your head’s somewhere else. You can just get back into the zone.”
Director Kenny Leon described it as “a very special night” with “heightened energy throughout the building.”
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