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A Reader of Fictions: Hold On Hope - Guided by Voices

A Reader of Fictions

Book Reviews for Just About Every Kind of Book

Friday, December 30, 2011

Hold On Hope - Guided by Voices

A Raisin in the Sun

Author: Lorraine Hansberry
Performers: L.A. Theatre Works Cast:
Judyann Elder, James Gleason, Noah Gray-Cabey, Corey Hawkins, Deidrie Henry,
Terrell Tilford, Rutina Wesley, and Mirron E. Willis
Duration: 1 hr, 19 mins
Publisher: L.A. Theatre Works

The Story:
It's really shameful how little I know about some classics in English literature. Prior to receiving this audiobook, I'm not sure whether I had ever even heard of A Raisin in the Sun. Since I had actual discs of this, I had to load it onto my iPod in three minute chunks as 'songs,' rather than as an audiobook. Unfortunately, this means that chunks kept coming on my shuffle, which I can tell you is really irritating, especially since one part begins with an alarm clock. Not cool. So, because of this, I was a bit biased against this play and assumed I would hate it.

Well, sometimes, I don't so much mind being wrong. This was a really good play, albeit a short one. It follows a brief period in the life of the Younger family of Chicago. They live in a small apartment, three generations all together. Even though all of them are working (or going to school) like they should be, money is tight.

However, there is a gleam of hope on the horizon, because an insurance check for $10,000 dollars is coming to Mama. Everyone in the family has their own idea of what should be done with the money. Mama wants to buy a house for everyone. Well, the down payment anyway. Beneatha wants money so she can attend medical school. Walter wants seed money for some money-making scheme with his drinking buddies.

The characters all seem very real in the way they interact and behave. I love the little squabbles they get into, which are so...family.

The Performance:
Everyone in the cast did a completely awesome job. I really liked all of their voices, and they all seemed well matched to the characters. Fun fact: Beneatha is actually voiced by the actress who plays Tara on True Blood.

I wasn't sure how it would be to listen to a play being acted out. I thought it might be confusing, especially since I did not have a copy of the play with me while I was listening. Plays are meant to be watched, so I thought I might lose out on some things. Well, I'm sure I did, and I would like to see it performed. However, it doesn't feel like I really missed out on anything enjoying the play this way.

Rating: 4.5/5

"But time still goes on
And through each life of misery
Everybody's got a hold on hope
It's the last thing that's holding me"

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