On a positive note, the program notes about the show were wonderful. (Lauryn E. Sasso is the dramaturg who is responsible for these sections of the program for all the shows and, as noted above, does an amazing job.) In "Tracing the Roots: From A Raisin in the Sun to Clybourne Park," we learn that playwright Lorraine Hansberry was the first African-American woman whose work was produced on Broadway when A Raisin in the Sun opened in 1959. The play is based fairly literally on Hansberry's personal experience. Her family purchased a home in Chicago in the 1930s in a community with a restrictive covenant preventing racial integration. Her father litigated the issue, and the covenant was eventually overturned. Hansberry remembers that, "The fight required that our family occupy the disputed property in a hellishly hostile 'white neighborhood' in which, literally, howling mobs surrounded our house... I remember my desperate and courageous mother, patrolling our house all night with a loaded German luger [pistol], doggedly guarding her four children, while my father fought the respectable part of the battle in ... court." Apparently one draft of A Raisin in the Sun ends in this manner, as opposed to with the feeling of resolve and hope that Hansberry eventually settled on.
Every show can't be wonderful, but my "hit" ratio has been much higher of late than when I lived in New York and would have happily left at least half of the shows at intermission. I have tickets for two more productions at the Asolo to round out the season--Noah Racey's Pulse, a new dance musical, and My Brilliant Divorce. I can't wait.