Fantasia's life spiraled even more out of control when she missed many performances of The Color Purple. "So much so that we had to pay back the audience more than a half a million dollars," Oprah says. "But more than the money, though, The Color Purple was, for so many people, the first time that they had ever seen a Broadway play, ... and then you weren't there."
Fantasia says she had never even seen a Broadway play before signing on to play Celie, a a physically and emotionally demanding role. and wasn't prepared physically or emotionally for the life of a Broadway performer"Here I am dealing with my situation, Fantasia's life—which is paying the bills, making sure everybody at home is straight," she says. "Then dealing with Broadway and dealing with this young lady who's being told she's ugly every day and going through so many things. It became an overload on me."