“The Color Purple” is returning to Chicago this fall, with Fantasia Barrino, the “American Idol” Season 3 winner starring as Celie — a role that won her wide acclaim when she stepped into the Broadway production of the musical in 2007.
This national touring company of the show also will feature Chicago-bred actress Felicia P. Fields reprising the Tony-nominated role of Sofia that she created for the original production, as well as Angela Robinson as Shug Avery (a role she played on Broadway), LaToya London (who also gained attention in the third season of “American Idol”) as Celia’s sister, Nettie, and Rufus Bonds Jr. as Mister.
Based on the Pulitzer Prize-winning Alice Walker novel, with a score by Brenda Russell, Allee Willis and Stephen Bray, a libretto by Marsha Norman, direction by Gary Griffin, and a producing team led by Oprah Winfrey, “The Color Purple” — which traces the story of an impoverished black woman in the American South who gradually moves from being a victim to an independent spirit — will run Sept. 2-13 at the Arie Crown Theater, 2301 S. Lake Shore.
As a 19-year old single mother, Barrino began her path to international stardom when she became the winner of Fox’s hugely successful audience-driven singing competition in May, 2004. Now 23, she has garnered critical acclaim for both her debut album, “Free Yourself,” and her second album, “Fantasia,” released in 2006. To date, she has gathered more than 20 music industry nominations including the Grammy, American Music Awards, Vibe Awards, Soul Train Awards and Soul Train “Lady of Soul” Awards, Billboard Music Awards and NAACP Image Award. She was the first “American Idol” winner to star in a Broadway show.
Tickets for “The Color Purple” go on sale at 10 a.m. Friday at the theater box office, at all Ticketmaster outlets and www.ticketmaster.com, or by phone at (800) 745-3000.