TODAY

TODAY   |  November 01, 2013

Fantasia brings the magic of Harlem jazz to the studio

“American Idol” winner Fantasia and “Psych” star Dulé Hill visit the Fourth Hour to promote their new Broadway show “After Midnight,” a modern interpretation of the famed Harlem Cotton Club during the era of Duke Ellington. Fantasia scat-sings and Hill tap-dances in a spontaneous improvisation.

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This content comes from Closed Captioning that was broadcast along with this program.

>> that is fantasia. she is singing " sunny side of the street ."

>> she is here with dule hill .

>> we have people that work here that at night are spies on broadway. they saw it this past weekend and said it was fantastic. they said, it's fantasia.

>> actually, when i first came in, they were in rehearsals already and i was able to sit and watch the show. i was blown away just watching the show, thinking, okay, what am i doing here? because you have great tap dancers, great singers. this man right here, oh, my god --

>> he's got his shoes on. he's going to dance for us in a bit. he doesn't know it, but he will.

>> here we go.

>> fantasia this is kind of a guest-starring role so you came in and wynton marsalis is the musical director on this show.

>> doesn't get better than that.

>> tell us about your role.

>> i am myself but i am emboding some great women by the name of billy holiday , really fitzgerald, josephine baker .

>> shoes you have to fill, that's not overwhelming, is it?

>> oh, yes, it is.

>> she fills them very well, i must say. i watch from the winging every day. she's doing it.

>> he messes with me in the wings every day, that's what he does.

>> that's what men do.

>> dule, you are playing the host. your role is?

>> i'm the captain of the ship. i take you on the journey. i greet you at the door and send you on your way.

>> was there a real person at the cotton club who actually did that?

>> i believe so. i wasn't there. but there was always an emcee.

>> frank gifford was and i was.

>> frank, you tell me what happened.

>> in the 1920s , he wasn't but yeah, a legendary time, no doubt.

>> there was always an emcee, whether it was cab or duke. somebody holding it down.

>> there's no real story line, or is there? it's about just the great music.

>> the story line is the time of the music. the time, the music and the experience. of the cotton club .

>> how long are you booked for, fantasia?

>> i'm here for five months, but, you know, i never thought i would say this, i would love to stay longer. i think this is something that was much needed for broadway. jazz music still lives and it is great music.

>> it's amazing. and the dancing. everybody thinks the jackson five started that stuff. it was here long before them.

>> that's true.

>> with wynton at the help, tell us what it was like to work with him, such a legendary jazz great.

>> i was nervous. insay he is music. he is music. i learned so much. in one day, you know, scatting as a vocabulary, another different language.

>> was that natural for you? do a little scatting for us. he's going to do a little tapping.

>> i love it.

>> now bring it home , bring it home . bring it home .

>> oh, she's got it! she's got my job! you see that? you trying to take my job.

>> up next, kathie lee . by the way, that was awesome. if it's this much fun in the theater every night, you're going to do great. thanks for coming to see us.

>> she's trying to take my job.

>> you're our next special guest star .

>> next, all the buzz.

>> we'll have it after this. that's it. that's it. hey, where are you going with...this? oh, you don't need it