Video: From Disco Diva to Stage Goddess- Donna Summer Does Broadway!
This afternoon, La Jolla Playhouse announced the cast and creative team for its world-premiere production of SUMMER: The Donna Summer Musical.
The exciting casting will feature three acclaimed actresses in the role of Donna Summer: Tony Award winner LaChanze (Broadway's The Color Purple, Once on This Island) as "Diva Donna," Ariana DeBose (Broadway's A Bronx Tale, Hamilton) as "Disco Donna" and Storm Lever (Playhouse's Freaky Friday) as "Duckling Donna."
According to the announcement, SUMMER: The Donna Summer Musical presents the complexities and conflicts the iconic songwriter and singer faced in her meteoric rise - and descent. Featuring a score with more than 20 of Summer's classic hits, including "Love to Love You, Baby," "Bad Girls" and "Hot Stuff," this electric experience is a moving tribute to the voice of a generation.
While details for the show are still mostly under wraps, a little historical digging tells us that Donna's story could include a few theatrical detours, as Donna has a bit of interesting musical theatre back story.
Though Donna made her legendary status creating the sounds that shaped the disco era, her rise to fame included some theatrical stops along the way. In the 1960's, under the influence of the counterculture, Summer fronted a psychedelic rock band named Crow and moved to New York City where she joined a touring version of the musical Hair. When the show moved to Germany, Summer remained there for several years, also performing in the German versions of several musicals including Godspell and Show Boat.
As Summer's star began to rise she remained in touch with the sounds of Broadway, covering more than a few classic show tunes throughout her storied career.
Below we've rounded up a few of Donna's dabbles in the songs of the Broadway stage. While we wait for her story to hit the stage, let's watch Donna do musical theatre before musical theatre does Donna!