BWW Review: SUMMER: THE DONNA SUMMER MUSICAL at ASU Gammage is Hot Stuff
Astonishing is a word some would use to describe something amazing they witnessed. In most cases and with most shows this word would suffice. However, what I saw on January 7th, 2020 at ASU Gammage does not just surpass this simple word, it stamps it into the ground. SUMMER: The Donna Summer Musical is beyond any praise I could write in here and by far the must-see of 2020.
SUMMER: The Donna Summer Musical follows the Queen of Disco and First Lady of Love through three stages of her life, each represented by three actresses; Diva Donna played by Dan'yelle Williamson, Disco Donna played by Alex Hairston, and Duckling Donna played by Cameron Anika Hill. These three vocal powerhouses tear the roof off the theatre, each one embodying Donna to the fullest. They flawlessly guide the audience through the story that seamlessly flows from one part of her life to another. With life moments set to music, the show essentially becomes Donna Summer's greatest hits in the best way possible.
The cast as a whole is incredible. There isn't a moment where their energy lets up, with each ensemble member giving their all to every moment with fervor. This could all be due to magnificent choreography by Sergio Trujillo. Steven Grant Douglas does a phenomenal job as Bruce Sudano. His gorgeous voice and amazing chemistry with all three Donna's is unmatched. Brittany Nicole Williams solo on "To Turn The Stone" was just the right amount of punch to bring that song home.
Robert Brill's Scenic Design goes from elegantly simple to as complex as disco can be, paired with Projection Design by Sean Nieuwenhuis, and Howell Binkley's Lighting Design. Paul Tazewell's costumes had many patrons murmuring about where they could find a few of his designs for themselves.
SUMMER: The Donna Summer Musical has everything you can ever want from a show depicting the Queen of Disco. This production, directed by Des McAnuff, takes the audience on a journey filled with laughs, more than a few tears, and all the dancing and then some expected from a show like this. If you're trying to find a great start to your new year, this show is it all the way to the last dance. This show leaves ASU Gammage on January 12th. Make sure you don't miss it.