Actress Phylicia Rashad loves mom roles. After playing Claire Huxtable in The Cosby Show and Lena Younger in A Raisin in the Sun, she continues her role as a mom next Tuesday when she stars as Violet Weston in the drama August: Osage Country at the Music Box Theatre.
Phylicia is the third actress to play Violet. The first two actresses, Deanna Dunagan and Estelle Parsons, were white. Phylicia will bring a new look to the Weston family.
Motherhood Becomes Her, Quite Often
By FELICIA R. LEE
PHYLICIA RASHAD is a mother who gets around. She killed her own children in a jealous rage as Medea. She bought a house in a hostile white neighborhood then persuaded her offspring to live there as Lena Younger in “A Raisin In the Sun.” And she juggled a law practice, five children and a mischievous husband without breaking a sweat as Clair Huxtable on the NBC sitcom “The Cosby Show.”
This soft-spoken, slyly humorous actress has fashioned a celebrated career out of playing mothers. Beginning Tuesday, at the Music Box Theater, she takes on the role of Violet Weston, the brittle, uncensored drug-abusing matriarch of an Oklahoma family in the drama “August: Osage Country.” In a notable flourish of so-called nontraditional casting, Ms. Rashad inherits a white stage family of three daughters, a husband, a sister and other relatives.
“People are more alike than we could ever be different,” Ms. Rashad, a real-life mother of two, said in an interview, taking on the question of whether a racially mixed Weston family is different from an all-white Weston family. “And there are all kinds of nuances in families, most of which we just don’t explore in film and television, onstage or, let’s face it, in life.”
I can’t believe that Ms. Rashad will be 61 years old next month. She looks great.
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