Like a Raisin in the Sun(dance)

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Kenny Leon, artistic director of Atlanta’s True Colors Theatre Company, leaps from the stage to both television and film in a single bound. Leon has directed a TV adaptation of A Raisin in the Sun for ABC, using the same cast from his acclaimed 2004 Broadway revival of the play, including Sean “Diddy” Combs,

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Sanaa Lathan and Tony winners Phylicia Rashad and Audra McDonald. ABC plans to air A Raisin in the Sun on Monday, Feb. 25 — the night after the network broadcasts the Oscars ceremony, which should give Raisin a boost.

Beforehand, however, Leon’s Raisin will premiere at the Sundance Film Festival, Robert Redford’s famed cinematic event held in Park City, Utah, Jan. 17-27. According to the True Colors press kit, A Raisin in the Sun is the first broadcast film ever to premiere at the Sundance Film Festival (although I wonder if that honor includes films made for cable channels like HBO).

Even so, it’s a terrific honor for Leon and will put the spotlight on the two Atlanta actors in the cast: Bill Nunn (who played Radio Raheem in Do the Right Thing and Robbie Robertson in the Spider-Man trilogy) and 13-year-old Justin Martin – who, incidentally, played a Munchkin in True Colors' 2004 and 2005 productions of The Wiz.

(Photo courtesy of True Colors Theatre)

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