Fantasia Barrino is beginning to feel the nerves as she begins rehearsals for the upcoming Broadway stage production After Midnight, premiering later this month.
“It feels good, but scary at the same time,” the singer tells Broadway.com. “I’m a very emotional person, so I tend to embody these roles and carry them with me.”
The musical pays homage to Duke Ellington‘s orchestra and Fantasia will help re-create the 1920s era when the legendary jazz musician gained exposure at the famous Cotton Club nightclub in Harlem. She will also showcase songs from the jazz era made famous by the likes of Lena Horne and Dorthy Dandridge. “If you listen to the lyrics, these women were in a lot of pain, there were dark moments in their lives,” says Fanny, who performed “Stormy Weather” — famously recorded by Horne, but debuted at the Cotton Club by Ethel Waters — during a meet-and-greet for the the production.
The singer’s previous Broadway experience includes the musical version of The Color Purple, which she says was “totally different” and “a little tough,” but she’s “glad” she did it.
“[Celie] taught me a lot and she prepared me for this [role in After Midnight], as well. Now I know how to tap in and tap out,” said Fantasia.
The singer will begin performances as the first special guest star in the Warren Carlyle-directed production on October 18. As previously reported, Toni Braxton and Kenneth “Babyface” Edmonds will also appear in After Midnight later this year.
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