December 17, 2003 01:55 AM

Sean “P. Diddy” Combs has already conquered hip-hop and fashion — so why not Broadway?

Combs is about to test his acting chops on stage by stepping into a role originated by Sidney Poitier in 1959, that of angry young Walter Lee Younger in Lorraine Hansberry’s acclaimed drama, “A Raisin in the Sun,” reports the New York Post.

The revival is due to open this spring, with its producer, David Binder, telling the paper that Diddy (who will appear as “Sean Combs” on the marquee) didn’t just walk into the part. He actually tried out for the role.

“Most big stars won’t audition at all,” Binder is quoted as saying in the Post, “but Sean was exactly the opposite.”

The producer said the aspiring actor had to run a veritable obstacle course to land the role and please the director, the casting director and the rep for the Hansberry estate.

“Everybody was incredibly impressed by his professionalism and preparation,” said Binder.

While this revival, should it really come to fruition, would mark Diddy’s first play, he has made movies, delivering small roles in “Monster’s Ball” and “Made.”

The Post says that experienced Broadway professionals are expected to round out the cast and bolster Diddy.

“A Raisin in the Sun” tells the epic story of the Youngers and their struggles to escape ghetto life. Walter Lee Younger shares a tiny apartment with his wife, son, sister and mother, and rages against feeling like a prisoner — until the family receives an unexpected financial windfall.

Poitier played Walter on stage, then reprised the role in the 1961 movie.

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