Fantasia Barino in After Midnight

Sandy Kenyon sat down with the star of "The Color Purple"
November 20, 2013 2:01:41 PM PST
It's been called "hot, sweet, and altogether glorious". The good reviews for the new show "After Midnight" represent a comeback of sorts for Fantasia Barino. She had vocal surgery after her last run on Broadway and endured her share of troubles since winning American Idol a decade ago, but now she's found new joy in old jazz.

"After Midnight" was when the best music was made almost a century ago.

Harlem was where the promise of the jazz age was fulfilled and now a younger generation is being introduced to this unique time and place courtesy of one of their idols.

"When these young people come into the building, the music begins to play and from the very first number to the very last number they're introduced to a whole other music that they probably never would pick up or would never go and see," Fantasia Barino said.

Barino has been on Broadway before in the Color Purple.

"I walked away saying, 'Whoa! Broadway is hard.' I don't know if I would ever do it again," Barino said.

Her new role is less demanding, although she is no less riveting.

Fantasia has known her share of "Stormy Weather" in the decade since she won "American Idol" at the age of 19.

"I feel like it was a test and in that test, I stood still with my head high and a smile on my face," Barino said.

Fame came so fast, she lost her way as Fantasia will be the first to tell you.

"I went through a point in my life where I lost just about everything," she said.

Three years ago Fantasia attempted suicide, and turned back to music to help her heal - songs of hardship and pain and love gone wrong.

"When I begin to sing those songs, I'm singing my life as well," Barino said.

Fantasia appears through the first week in February when other performers like Toni Braxton will take her place and rotate through this excellent musical. TV star Dule Hill is the MC "After Midnight" providing a loose structure to a show featuring more than 25 songs.

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