The musical production of Alice Walker's famed novel The Color Purple is proving to be a popular challenge for pop stars. The Broadway show, produced by Quincy Jones and Oprah Winfrey, received 10 Tony Award nominations in 2006. While continuing its successful Broadway run, in April the show will open in Chicago before heading off on a national tour.
Michelle Williams, formerly of the group Destiny's Child, will join the cast of The Color Purple in Chicago in the crucial role of Shug Avery. This is not the first major stage role for Williams. She took over from singer Toni Braxton in the Broadway production of Aida. Michelle Williams has been pursuing a solo career since the 2005 Destiny's Child breakup. Plans are in the works for her to begin recording her 3rd solo album later this year.
American Idol Season 3 champion Fantasia will take on one of her greatest performing challenges when she joins the Broadway cast of The Color Purple beginning April 10, 2007. Fantasia appeared on Oprah Winfrey's television show yesterday to discuss performing in the lead role of Celie. She said she relates to the character Celie's battles with sexual abuse, illiteracy, and poverty. Then Fantasia brought the house down with her performance of the song "I'm Here" from the show.
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