Jawn Murray of AOL’s Black Voices is reporting that Fantasia will return to her role as Celie in The Color Purple during its three-month run at The Kennedy Center in Washington DC beginning June 30.

A rep for the production would not confirm the casting news, Murray reported, but he said he has confirmed that the “American Idol” winner will return for the musical’s Washington stint, as well as its forthcoming stays in Chicago and Atlanta.

Murray wrote: “Though news of Fantasia’s return is apparently being kept under wraps – well, until now — I’m told the producers of the show are eager to see the High Point, North Carolina native return to the production. My source told me that the negative attention Fantasia received by the ‘New York Post’ in December of 2007 for missing 50 shows was unwarranted because the 24-year-old star single-handedly ‘made a truck load of money for that show.”

(Incidentally, one-named actress LaChanze, who originated the character and won a Tony Award for playing Celie, missed more than 40 days during her year-long stint with the show.)

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