"American Idol" Champ Fantasia is Celie in The Color Purple Beginning April 10

News   "American Idol" Champ Fantasia is Celie in The Color Purple Beginning April 10 Fantasia Barrino steps into the lead role of Celie in The Color Purple April 10 at 7 PM, becoming the first "American Idol" winner on Broadway.

Fantasia Barrino
Fantasia Barrino

Fantasia won "American Idol" in May 2004, in the show's third season, and in the final round defeated Diana DeGarmo, who has subsequently appeared on Broadway in Hairspray. Fantasia went on to release two solo albums, "Free Yourself" in 2004 and "Fantasia" in December 2006.

Fantasia's other opponents on the show included Jennifer Hudson, who won an Oscar for "Dreamgirls," and LaToya London, who will play the role of Nettie in The Color Purple tour, which begins April 17 in Chicago at the Cadillac Palace Theatre.

Other "American Idol" notables to appear on the New York stage include Constantine Maroulis (The Wedding Singer, Jacques Brel), Tamyra Gray (Bombay Dreams) and Frenchie Davis (Rent).

Barrino plays the role created on film by Whoopi Goldberg and onstage by LaChanze, who won a Tony Award for the part.

* The Broadway production of The Color Purple began previews on Nov. 1, 2005 at the Broadway Theatre and officially opened Dec. 1, 2005.

Based on the Alice Walker novel and the Steven Spielberg film, The Color Purple features a score by Brenda Russell, Allee Willis and Stephen Bray and a book by Pulitzer Prize winner Marsha Norman ('night, Mother). The musical was directed by Gary Griffin.

The design team comprises John Lee Beatty (sets), Paul Tazewell (costumes), Brian MacDevitt (lighting) and Jon Weston (sound).

The Color Purple's main producer is Oprah Winfrey, who received an Oscar nomination for her portrayal of Sofia in the film version.

The rest of the Broadway producing team includes Scott Sanders, Quincy Jones, Roy Furman, Creative Battery, Anna Fantaci & Cheryl Lachowicz, Independent Presenters Network, Lowy Family Group, Stephanie McClelland, Gary Winnick, Jan Kallish, Andrew Asnes & Adam Zotovich and Todd Johnson.

For tickets, call (212) 239-6200, visit the Broadway Theatre Box Office at 1681 Broadway or visit the website at www.colorpurple.com.

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