The second Broadway revival of Lorraine Hansberry's The Sign in Sidney Brustein's Window opens at the James Earl Jones Theatre April 27. Starring Oscar Isaac and Rachel Brosnahan, the play was a last-minute addition to the Broadway season following a run at Off-Broadway's Brooklyn Academy of Music earlier this year. Previews began April 25 for the Broadway bow.
Isaac and Brosnahan lead the cast as Sidney Brustein and Iris Parodus Brustein. Set in the Greenwich Village in the 1960s, Hansberry's play portrays a passionate and strained marriage while also delving into the complexities and pitfalls of of predominantly white bohemian intellectualism and activism.
The complete company from the BAM run has stayed with the production for its Broadway bow, including Gus Birney as Gloria Parodus, Julian De Niro as Alton Scales, Glenn Fitzgerald as David Ragin, Andy Grotelueschen as Wally O'Hara, Miriam Silverman as Mavis Parodus Bryson, and Raphael Nash Thompson as Max. Rounding out the company as understudies are Gregory Connors, Brontë England-Nelson, Joey Auzenne, and Katya Campbell.
Obie and Lortel winner Anne Kauffman (The Thugs, Mary Jane) directs the seldom-seen work after staging a 2016 production at Chicago's Goodman Theatre. Kauffman's Broadway creative team includes scenic designer dots, costume designer Brenda Abbandandolo, lighting designer John Torres, sound designer Bray Poor, hair and wig designer Leah Loukas, and movement director Sonya Tayeh. Ralph Stan Lee is production stage manager, and casting is by Taylor Williams. Arminda Thomas serves as dramaturg.
Lorraine Hansberry died just three months after The Sign in Sidney Brustein’s Window began its debut on Broadway in 1964. But even in her last days, she was revising the script from her sick bed based on notes brought over from the theatre. The work, in some ways, can be considered unfinished—Hansberry faced so many challenges in its final stages. That’s one of the reasons it’s not as well-known as her A Raisin in the Sun. BAM's production was its first major New York revival—a 1972 Broadway return ran for just 5 performances.
“We are in dire need of Hansberry’s voice...we know so little of her, and define her by one play: A Raisin in the Sun. Without a doubt, Raisin is a masterpiece, but Hansberry’s evolution and contribution to this country's culture, history and political motion stretches way beyond that astonishing accomplishment," said Kauffman in an earlier statement. "Her work as an artist and activist is varied and deep. The Sign in Sidney Brustein’s Window, written four years after A Raisin in the Sun, embraces human complexity and frailty while aggressively shaking us free of our delusions, yet very few people know of it. Now they’ll know.”
The Broadway bow is produced by Seaview, Sue Wagner, John Johnson, Jeremy O. Harris, Joi Gresham, and Brooklyn Academy of Music, with Phil Kenny, Audible, Sony Music Masterworks, Jillian Robbins, Larry Hirschhorn and Ricardo Hornos, Shields Smedes Stern Ltd., Kevin Ryan, The Shubert Organization, Willette and Manny Klausner, Marco Santarelli, Be Forward Productions, Concord Theatricals, Creative Partners Productions, Invisible Wall Productions, Salman and Moudhy Al-Rashid, TodayTix Group, Ido Gal, HarrisDonnelly, Sally Cade Holmes, Stella LaRue, LAMF Protozoa, Kati Meister and John Sorkin, Meredith Lynsey Schade, Catherine Schreiber, Dennis Trunfio, 42nd.club, BAMM Production,s CarterMackTaylorWillman, HB2M Productions, HK-Undivided Productions, MAJIKK Theatricals, Tanker Kollev Productions, Douglas Denoff, OHenry Productions, Plate Spinner Productions, Runyonland Productions, Mad Gene Media, and Scrap Paper Pictures serving as co-producers.
See pictures from the Off-Broadway run at BAM below: