Fantasia says that she’s enjoying this season in her life, starring as the featured guest in the new Broadway musical “After Midnight.” Along with host Dule Hill and some of the greatest dance and singing talent on Broadway, they recreate the feeling of the famed Cotton Club nightclub with an array of musical numbers. Fantasia is in the cast until February 9, when in the tradition of Celebrity Nights at the Cotton Club, she’ll be replaced by K.D. Lang and then on March 18, Toni Braxton and Babyface will be the featured guests.
“I’m doing great. I’m doing really, really good, I’m enjoying this time in New York,” Fantasia told the Tom Joyner Morning Show. “I am Fantasia but I embody some of those great women that paved that way for us like Billie Holliday, Ella Fitzgerald, Josephine Baker. It’s great jazz music and it’s something I’ve never done before. I didn’t know I could do it myself. It’s a whole ‘nother style. It’s a different language, it’s scatting and things like that so I’m really enjoying this time and stepping into those women’s shoes.”
Fantasia was coached by Wynton Marsalis the Artistic Director of Jazz at Lincoln Center who was the musical supervisor on the show, a partnership with Lincoln Center Jazz and City Center Encores! that first ran Off Broadway. With Fantasia and Hill aboard and the Lincoln Center Jazz All-Stars, the show has received glowing reviews – including our own!
Fantasia says that the five months she’s on Broadway are a good time for her to focus on her craft. Despite the negative attention her love life received when she was involved with Antwaun Cook, a then legally separated (now divorced) North Carolina man that she has a son with, Fantasia has come out of the storm triumphantly. She’s lost weight, she looks great and her run on Broadway is a career highlight. She got involved in “After Midnight” via a contact in her previous run on Broadway as Celie in “The Color Purple.”
“I always said I don’t know If I would ever do Broadway again because it’s a lot. Every night, you’re embodying somebody’s life and you have to do 150%. But as soon as he said jazz, I felt like I was supposed to do it because two weeks before, all I was listening to was Billie Holliday and Cab Calloway. I love them and I love the music. I watched documentaries on Holliday and Ella Fitzgerald because I wanted to keep it authentic. I didn’t want to give you no 2013 jazz. I want to give you jazz and keep it raw, keep it real and that’s what I tried to do.”
Let’s just get this straight right now and stop all the rumors. J. Anthony Brown may have gone to see Fantasia perform on Broadway and he brought her flowers but the two are not dating. Sorry Jay, but Fantasia is focused on her career at the moment. She wants to give the time she’s on Broadway her full attention and welcomes the added dimension it gives to her career.
“I’m not doing that right now,” she says. “For this five months, I’m doing something totally, totally different. And I thank God. I’m allowing him to do things in my life and I’m allowing Him to take control of it. When we do that, we mess up. This five months is just me and God. I want to be nominated for a Tony, if I’m not nominated, I want to go.”