P. Diddy plans Broadway debut. He'll play the role made famous by Sidney Poitier in a revival of ''Raisin in the Sun''

By Gary Susman
Updated December 17, 2003 at 05:00 AM EST
Credit: Sean 'P. Diddy' Combs: NY Photo Press/NewsCom

Rapper-music mogul-fashion designer-restaurateur-marathoner P. Diddy will soon be able to add ”Broadway actor” to his résumé. So says the New York Post, which reports that he’s been cast in the lead of the Broadway revival of ”A Raisin in the Sun.” When the play opens in the spring, he’ll be listed on the marquee under his given name, Sean Combs, the paper reports.

Combs, who’s won praise for his modest-sized roles in the movies ”Monster’s Ball” and ”Made,” will star in Lorraine Hansberry’s drama as Walter Younger, the restless father in an inner-city family, a role Sidney Poitier made famous on stage and screen four decades ago. When producers first announced plans for this revival a year ago, Playbill reports, they had hoped to cast Laurence Fishburne and his ”What’s Love Got to Do With It” costar Angela Bassett in the lead roles, but those negotiations apparently never came to fruition. Aside from Combs, no other casting has been announced.

Producer David Binder told the Post that P. Diddy didn’t consider himself too big to audition for the part. ”Most big stars won?t audition at all, but Sean was exactly the opposite,” said Binder, who noted that Combs had to pass muster with the play’s director, its casting director, and a representative of Hansberry’s estate. ”Everybody was incredibly impressed by his professionalism and preparation,” Binder said.