SEAN 'P DIDDY' COMBS made his Broadway stage debut last night (26APR04) to mixed reviews.

One critic described the rapper-turned-entrepreneur's performance in Lorraine Hansberry's A Raisin in the Sun "pretty damn good" but another bemoaned Combs' "lack of experience and depth".

The superstar plays WALTER LEE YOUNGER, a young man struggling in life until he gets an unexpected financial windfall. The role

was previously played on stage and screen to huge critical acclaim by SIDNEY POITIER.

But Diddy didn't disappoint most American critics.

The New York Times praised his "appealingly tousled and sleepy-eyed" stage appearance, adding, "Mr Combs seems at first to have made a daring actor's choice that he just might pull off."

USA TODAY newspaper wrote, "Combs clearly did not slack off in preparing for his latest challenge," before adding, "Projecting is not the same thing as acting, and the finely textured work of Combs' accomplished co-stars makes his own lack of experience and depth all too apparent."

The NEW YORK POST opined, "Confidently stepping into the role made famous by Sidney Poitier, Combs was – believe it or not – pretty damn good. Admittedly, Sidney Poitier he was not – and Denzel Washington, Morgan Freeman and Samuel L Jackson need not shake in their boots, at least for now. But Combs exceeded expectations as the petulant, truculent and brooding young hero."

27/04/2004 21:25