DETROIT (WWJ) – The hit Broadway musical play “The Color Purple” is coming to the Fox Theatre this month. 

And as WWJ’s Stephanie Davis reports, a metro Detroit rising star is playing the lead role of Celie.

Dayna Dantzler, who was born in Detroit and grew up in Warren, took over the demanding role of Celie after American Idol star, Fantasia Barrino.

“I was nervous at first because I know the people were expecting Fantasia, people expecting to hear at least somebody that sounds like Fantasia,” Dantzler said. “But, I believe I have a very different take on this character, particularly because I’m a different person.”

Dantzler, a Western Michigan University Theatre graduate, said her career really started with her mom getting her involved with sports and music, and a special influence from a Detroit teacher.

“I had a great teacher, Don Rutherford, who  ignited the fire for me, to pursue it as a career,” Dantzler said.

The Color Purple is based on the classic Pulitzer Prize-winning novel by Alice Walker and the subsequent film by Steven Spielberg. It is the unforgettable and inspiring story of a woman named Celie, who finds the strength to triumph over adversity and discover her unique voice in the world.

The Color Purple runs April 8th and 9th at the Fox Theatre. For more information on “The Color Purple,” click here.

Listen to Dayna Dantzler’s entire interview with WWJ below.

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