It begins its “celebrity” nights with singer Fantasia, the first featured guest who in in the cast until February 9 when pop singer K.D. Lang will replace her. Then, Toni Braxton and Babyface join the cast from March 18-30. “After Midnight” is not Fantasia’s Broadway debut; the “American Idol” winner also starred as Celie in “The Color Purple.” In this production, she sings several songs, including a poignant version of “Stormy Weather” as well as a rollicking version of the Cab Calloway chestnut, “Zaz Zuh Zaz.”

Those who dislike the scratchier side to Fantasia’s voice will be amazed by her transformation into a jazz singer under the direction of Marsalis. He has toned down her R&B theatrics and brought out the tonal quality that makes her voice so uniquely beautiful. It’s a star turn for the once embattled singer and she makes the best of it.

Singer Adriane Lenox does a ribald turn in “Women Be Wise” and tap dancing is all but revived by the talents of folks like Christopher Broughton and Dormeshia Sumbry-Edwards. But it’s the varied and talented cast in its totality that make this Broadway show one you can’t miss. The Cotton Club lives again… and it’s wonderful.

Fantasia Shines On Broadway in ‘After Midnight’  was originally published on blackamericaweb.com

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