Get ready for some "Hot Stuff"! Summer: The Donna Summer Musical brings disco to the Lunt-Fontanne Theatre on Broadway.
Following a twice-extended run at the La Jolla Playhouse in California, Summer transfered to Broadway and officially opened on April 23, 2018.
With songs from the back-catalogue of the five-time Grammy Award-winner, Summer tells the story of Donna Summer, who, after selling 140 million records worldwide, was one of the best-selling artists of all time. She was known as the Queen of Disco and for her hits such as “Love to Love You Baby,” "I Feel Love," “Hot Stuff,” “Bad Girls,” "She Works Hard for the Money," "Last Dance," and “MacArthur Park,” among many others, but this crowd-pleasing bio-musical allows a deeply personal insight into the woman behind the dancefloor fillers.
From childhood molestation to domestic abuse to corporate exploitation, Ms. Summer never had an easy road to stardom thanks to many of the men in her life, but Summer explores the ways she, as a woman in a male-dominated industry, took control of her own career and her own destiny. Her story is narrated by three actresses in the title role (Tony Award winner LaChanze as 'Diva Donna,' Ariana DeBose as 'Disco Donna' and Storm Lever as 'Duckling Donna') who represent Donna at various points in her lifetime and who also effortlessly slip into other roles such as Donna's mother or daughter. They break the fourth wall and create an easy rapport with the audience, as she confides in us her secrets and secret longings. And there doesn't seem to be any topic off limits, even addressing her leaving her first child to pursue her career and an unfortunate homophobic slur that caused a well-documented backlash against her.
If you lived through the Disco era, Summer will offer nostalgia by the bucketload, but for younger audience members, the musical is the chance to experience an astonishing genre and time in the history of music. In terms of womens' rights in the workplace, Summer is also a needed reminder of how the more things change, the more they stay the same. If you feel love for this extraordinary icon of the music industry then head down to the Lunt-Fontanne Theatre and save the last dance for her.
(Photos by Joan Marcus)