"A Raisin in the Sun" — with McDonald, Combs, Lathan and Rashad — Airs on ABC Feb. 25

News   "A Raisin in the Sun" — with McDonald, Combs, Lathan and Rashad — Airs on ABC Feb. 25 Audra McDonald, Sean Combs, Sanaa Lathan and Phylicia Rashad star in the ABC television adaptation of Lorraine Hansberry's A Raisin in the Sun, which airs Feb. 25 at 8 PM ET.
Sanaa Lathan, Phylicia Rashad, Sean Combs, Audra McDonald and Justin Martin in the Emmy-nominated
Sanaa Lathan, Phylicia Rashad, Sean Combs, Audra McDonald and Justin Martin in the Emmy-nominated "A Raisin in the Sun." Photo by ABC/Peter Stranks

Kenny Leon, who staged the recent Broadway revival, directs his original stars for the ABC-TV movie, which also features Bill Nunn, Ron Cephas Jones, Sean Patrick Thomas and John Stamos.

"The ground-breaking drama portrays a brief period of time in the life of the Younger family as they anxiously await the arrival of a $10,000 life insurance check," reads an ABC release. "Everyone in the family has their own ideas about how they plan to use their new-found wealth and are eager for their new lives to start."

The film features the cast of the 2004 revival, including Combs as Walter Lee Younger, McDonald as Ruth Younger, Rashad as Lena Younger and Lathan as Beneatha Younger. McDonald and Rashad earned Tony Awards for their performances; Lathan was Tony-nominated.

Stamos (Nine, "ER") takes on the role of Karl Lindner, Jones (Gem of the Ocean, Our Lady of 121st Street) appears as Willy, Thomas ("Save the Last Dance," Much Ado About Nothing) plays George and Nunn ("Do the Right Thing," "Spider-Man") reprises his role as Bobo. The ensemble also features Justin Martin (The Lion King) as Travis and David Oyelowo ("The Last King of Scotland") as Asagai.

The three-hour, small-screen version utilizes a script penned by Paris Qualles, based on the original Hansberry play. Craig Zadan and Neil Meron (the TV versions of "Cinderella," "Annie" and the films "Hairspray" and "Chicago") produced the work for Sony Pictures. The work made its world premiere at the 2008 Sundance Film Festival. A Raisin in the Sun premiered in 1959. It was the first Broadway play written by, directed by and starring African-Americans. Lloyd Richards directed a cast that included Sidney Poitier, Claudia McNeil, Diana Sands, Ruby Dee and Louis Gossett — who also appeared in the 1961 film version. The play was also adapted for a 1989 TV movie starring Danny Glover and Esther Rolle and also served as source material for the musical, Raisin.

Bill Nunn, John Stamos and Sean Patrick Thomas in "A Raisin in the Sun."
Bill Nunn, John Stamos and Sean Patrick Thomas in "A Raisin in the Sun." Photo by ABC/Peter Stranks