`What I saw on opening night of "A Raisin in the Sun" was one of the most powerful, well-acted productions the Westport Country Playhouse has delivered in the past decade I have been a regular attendee. It was followed by one of the strongest, heartfelt standing ovations I have witnessed in that time as well.

The fact that there are far more "Younger" families than "Westport" families in Fairfield County and Connecticut speaks to the play's timeliness even today.

In addition, the fact that the "Younger" family in this production resonates so compellingly with people from families of all colors and kinds speaks to its universality.

I take issue with Geary Danihy's review of the production ("Powerful lessons overshadow `Raisin' production," Oct. 19.)

To say that a story as perennial to the human condition as the struggle to achieve one's dreams has "been done" because the context is that of a black family is far more a statement about the critic's view of society than the playwright's.

That seems particularly evident in the critic's assumption that the popularity of television sit-coms portraying affluent black families like the Jeffersons and Huxtables connotes the respectful embrace of poor black families like the Youngers by American society overall.

I state that with the full conviction that "whiteface" has absolutely nothing to do with families like those portrayed in the Jeffersons and Huxtables.

I encourage everyone to see this production of "A Raisin in the Sun" and hope that Mr. Danihy will take another look and truly see it as well.

Harold Bailey