Fantasia cleared to return to Pantages stage Tuesday
Fantasia Barrino's journey with Miss Celie continues to be a bumpy one, but the "American Idol" winner and lead in "The Color Purple" was cleared by her physician to return to the stage Tuesday night.
The musical opened at the Pantages Theatre in Hollywood on Wednesday, but Fantasia was able to perform only two nights before her doctor ordered her to "sit out" the weekend to heal her inflamed vocal cords.
Fantasia first played the lead role in the stage version of Alice Walker's novel in 2007 on Broadway and received bad press for missing shows and causing the production to return $1 million in ticket sales to patrons who did not want to see the show without its star attraction.
In an interview with The Times in December, Fantasia explained that she was very ill during the Broadway run and had tumors removed from her throat in 2008. At times during Thursday night's star-studded Pantages opening, the singer's voice seemed raspy and hoarse.
Her manager, Brian Dickens, said Fantasia spent Monday being evaluated by her physician and vocal coaches and "received clearance to return to work Tuesday."
Dickens denied a request for an interview with the singer because "she's been ordered to remain on vocal rest until she goes back to her vocal coach tomorrow at 2."
--Maria Elena Fernandez (follow me on Twitter @writerchica)
Photo: Fantasia Barrino rehearsing for a BET special in Los Angeles in December. Credit: Kirk McKoy/Los Angeles Times.