The acclaimed singer, who was originally scheduled to depart in October, will now stay with the production through Jan. 6, 2008, according to a press announcement.
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 previously spoke to Playbill.com about playing the role of Celie, which was created on Broadway by Tony winner LaChanze. "If you really put yourself in her shoes," Fantasia said, "that can be very tiring. It can take a lot of energy out of you. I know when I get off the stage at night from shows, I'm exhausted. I run to my room, and I fall on the couch, and I have to take at least about ten minutes to wind down and to get my thoughts together and come out of the part of Celie."
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 lead producer is Scott Sanders; the presenting 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 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.