Lorraine Hansberry's The Sign in Sidney Brustein's Window officially opens February 23 at the Brooklyn Academy of Music with Golden Globe winners Oscar Isaac and Rachel Brosnahan. Playing the Harvey Theater, previews began February 4.
Isaac (Hamlet, Moon Knight, Scenes from a Marriage) and Brosnahan (The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel, The Big Knife, Othello) play Sidney and Iris Brustein, a couple living in 1960s Greenwich Village, surrounded by a progressive circle of friends. Hansberry paints a portrait of their marriage, their sometimes unrealistic ideals, and the complexities of bohemian intellectualism and activism.
The production also stars 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. Understudies include Joey Auzenne, Gregory Connor, Brontë England-Nelson, and Amelia Pedlow.
Obie and Lortel winner Anne Kauffman (The Thugs, Mary Jane) directs the seldom-seen work, which debuted on Broadway in 1964. Kauffman previously directed the play at Chicago's Goodman Theatre in 2016. BAM's production is its first major New York revival.
The creative team includes dramaturg Arminda Thomas, scenic designer dots, costume designer Brenda Abbandandolo, lighting designer John Torres, sound designer Bray Poor, wig designer Leah Loukas, props master Andrew Diaz, vocal coach Kate Wilson, and casting director Taylor Williams.
Known for playing Miriam "Midge" Maisel in Amazon Prime's The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel, Brosnahan previously starred Off-Broadway in New York Theatre Workshop's 2016 Othello as Desdemona. She also starred in Roundabout's 2013 Broadway revival of The Big Knife as Dixie Evans. Isaac has also appeared Off-Broadway in The Public's 2017 Hamlet, as well as Free Shakespeare in the Park productions of Romeo and Juliet and Two Gentlemen of Verona. At Manhattan Theatre Club, he starred in We Live Here and Beauty of the Father.
“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.”
BAM has also created in-person and online experiences about Hansberry, including talks, an exhibit in the Harvey Theater lobby curated by BAM archivist Sharon Lehner, and online educational tools.