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Puff Daddy is not coming to Sundance. Neither is P. Diddy.

But Sean Combs is.

Combs, best known as the rich and powerful P. Diddy and the Artist Formerly Known as Puff Daddy, will be in Park City this week for the screenings of his upcoming movie, "Raisin in the Sun." He starred in and executive produced the TV movie, to be shown on ABC on Feb. 25.

Combs told The Salt Lake Tribune last week that he has a "split personality": one is the outspoken media mogul on top of the hip hop and clothing world. The other - the one he's bringing to Park City - will be much more serious, and what he's really like, he said.

"Serious" is one way to describe the 131-minute "Raisin in the Sun," a landmark 1959 play that was the first Broadway show ever written by a black woman and directed by a black man.

The title comes from the opening lines of Langston Hughes' poem "A Dream Deferred": "What happens to a dream deferred? / Does it dry up / like a raisin in the sun?" The play, which premiered with Sidney Poitier in the lead role of Walter Lee Younger, deals with the deferred dreams of a poor Chicago family and how each member has his or her own, conflicting ideas of what the American Dream is for a black family.

Combs, who has appeared in previous movies like "Made" and "Monster's Ball," made his own Broadway premiere when the play was revived in 2004. Phylicia Rashad and Sanaa Lathan - who are also in the film - joined him as he assumed the role of Walter Lee, whose hopes for owning a profitable liquor store are trampled when he's swindled by a con man.

"I drew on my humble beginnings," said Combs about portraying Walter Lee. Both grew up without a father - Combs' father was gunned down when Combs was only 3 years old.

Combs said his Broadway debut was one of the biggest struggles of his life, and to get prepared he was "blessed" to have lunch with Sidney Poitier and talk about who Walter Lee was.

Once it came time to film the movie, Combs felt confident, so confident that he said it was like jumping from a 100-story building and expecting to land on his feet.

"By the time of the movie, I had found Walter Lee," he said. "I gave up Sean Combs to become Walter Lee."

Combs wore another hat in the TV movie: he executive-produced the film.

"I wanted to expose this to a new audience," said Combs, who added that he hoped young people would take to heart the film's messages of "hope and the power of family and the power to pursue your dreams."


* DAVID BURGER can be reached at" Target="_BLANK"> or 801-257-8620. Send comments about this story to" Target="_BLANK">