[auth] President Barack Obama, left, shakes hands with audience members as Spike Lee, center, and Rev. Al Sharpton stand by at the National Action Network conference Friday, April 11, 2014, in New York. (AP Photo/The Daily News, Julia Xanthos, Pool)
NEW YORK (AP) — Capping two days devoted to praising the advances of the civil rights movement, President Barack Obama and first lady Michelle Obama attended the Broadway revival of “A Raisin in the Sun,” a play about an African-American family in 1950s Chicago.
The play, which stars Denzel Washington, capped a rare evening out in New York for the first couple. They were in the city for activist Al Sharpton’s National Action Network conference, which the president addressed earlier Friday.
The presidential motorcade froze traffic out of Times Square and drew crowds of onlookers who stood up to 30 people deep along Obama’s route to catch a glimpse of his limousine and entourage.
Joining the Obamas at the Barrymore Theater for the critically acclaimed production were Obama senior adviser Valerie Jarrett and sportscaster and former NFL wide receiver Ahmad Rashad.
Earlier, the first couple, Jarrett and Rashad joined poet Elizabeth Alexander, who read at Obama’s 2009 inauguration, and friends Kelly and Andrew Dibble from Obama’s hometown of Chicago for dinner at an Italian trattoria at the high-end Gramercy Park Hotel.