"Raisin in the Sun," with Combs, Rashad and McDonald, Will Arrive on DVD in May

News   "Raisin in the Sun," with Combs, Rashad and McDonald, Will Arrive on DVD in May The critically acclaimed TV version of Lorraine Hansberry's A Raisin in the Sun will arrive on DVD May 6.
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

The Sony Pictures Television movie adaptation, which debuted on ABC-TV Feb. 25, will be released on the Sony Pictures Home Entertainment label. In addition to the made-for-TV film, the DVD will also boast the following special features: audio commentary with director Kenny Leon and a featurette entitled "Dreams Worthwhile: The Journey of 'A Raisin in the Sun'" as well as English and French subtitles, widescreen presentation and bonus previews.

The film features the cast of the 2004 Broadway revival, including Sean Combs as Walter Lee Younger, Audra McDonald as Ruth Younger, Phylicia Rashad as Lena Younger and Sanaa Lathan as Beneatha Younger. (McDonald and Rashad earned Tony Awards for their Broadway performances; Lathan was Tony-nominated.) Kenny Leon, who staged the revival, directed his 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 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"), David Binder, Susan Batson and Carl Rumbaugh produced the work for Sony Pictures. The film 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. The "A Raisin in the Sun" DVD, which has a suggested retail price of $24.95, has a running time of 131 minutes. Visit www.SonyPictures.com for more information.

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