"American Idol" Champ Fantasia to Don The Color Purple in April

News   "American Idol" Champ Fantasia to Don The Color Purple in April
Fantasia Barrino will step into the role of Celie, which was created onstage by Tony Award winner LaChanze, in The Color Purple, becoming the first "American Idol" winner on Broadway.

Fantasia is Broadway bound.
Fantasia is Broadway bound.

The celebrated singer made that announcement during a guest appearance on the Feb. 22 episode of the wildly popular reality show. Color Purple co-producer Quincy Jones, who was in the "Idol" audience, said he believed Fantasia was "absolutely" up to the challenge of the role. Host Ryan Seacrest said Fantasia will join the hit musical April 10.

Fantasia will also discuss her upcoming Broadway bow on the Feb. 28 broadcast of "The Oprah Winfrey Show." Winfrey, who appeared in the film "The Color Purple," is a producer of the Broadway musical.

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

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

The role of Celie is currently played by Kenita R. Miller. The Color Purple marked its 500th performance on Broadway at the Broadway Theatre Feb. 13. 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).

In addition to Winfrey and Jones, The Color Purple's Broadway producing team includes Scott Sanders, 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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