“Summer: The Donna Summer Musical,” which premiered at La Jolla Playhouse in California last month, is boogieing to Broadway this spring.
The late disco queen Donna Summer “had the kind of voice that comes along perhaps once in a quarter-century,” the show’s director, Des McAnuff, told Broadway.com in a statement Tuesday. “Her collaboration with [producer] Giorgio Moroder in the studio had an influence on recorded music that will last for many years to come. She not only had an effect on pop culture but she changed the roles of women in the industry. Her story is as impactful today as it was when she was living it.”
The musical, featuring Summer at three points in her life, told from the night of her final concert, is set to begin previews March 28 at the Lunt-Fontanne Theatre, with opening night April 23. The book is by McAnuff — a multiple Tony Award-winning producer and two-time Tony-winning director — Robert Cary and Colman Domingo, who plays Victor Strand on AMC’s “Fear the Walking Dead,” with songs by Summer and collaborators Moroder and Paul Jabara.
In the La Jolla production, 2006 Best Actress in a Musical Tony Award-winner LaChanze (“The Color Purple”) plays Diva Donna, with Ariana DeBose (“A Bronx Tale: The Musical”) as Disco Donna and Storm Lever as Duckling Donna. No casting was announced for the Broadway show.
Summer, who died in 2012, was known for such hits as “Love to Love You Baby,” “Hot Stuff” and “Bad Girls.”