Fantasia has missed almost 50 performances of The Color Purple

Since her debut as Celie in The Color Purple on Broadway earlier this year, Fantasia “has missed nearly 50 performances, production sources said,” according to New York Post columnist Michael Riedel. Because Broadway shows refund or exchange tickets if a show’s star is gone, “absences have wreaked havoc at the box office.”

The paper says the show “began grossing more than $1 million a week” with Fantasia in the lead role, and before she even debuted, the show had $6 million in pre-ticket sales.

Another source told the paper, “I’m not making excuses for her, but she lives the role when she’s onstage, and it’s taken an emotional toll on her. She’s just not up to doing eight performances a week. Even LaChanze — with her cold-hearted performance — couldn’t take it.”

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