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The Donna Summer Musical

February 26, 2020

I was on the road for TCP Magazine at DPAC for “Summer: The Donna Summer Musical!” Songs were by Donna Summer,  Giorgio Moroder, Paul Jabara, and others. Book by Colman Domingo, Robert Cary, and Des McAnuff. The music supervision and arrangements by Ron Melrose, captured a collection of Donna Summer’s hits, sung throughout this production. Sergio Trujillo choreographer, along with dance captains Jennifer Wolfe and her assistant Sir Brock Warren, had dancers exemplifying movements with precision, gracefulness, and superbness! Des McAnuff directed the production. The energy, movement of stage props throughout the entire production, was well timed. It exhibited much fluidity in transitioning from one scene to another.

The life and times of LaDonna Adrian Gaines known by her stage name based on marriage, was  Donna Summer. She had been singing since youth, and became a big hit during the disco era in the late 1970’s. This production showcased Donna Summer upbringing from singing in the church, competing in competitions, and playing hooky from school in Boston to go to New York City for auditions. This gave her the opportunity to perform in the musical “Hair” which led to performing in Munich, Germany. The three Donna Summers from childhood, Duckling Donna/Mimi (Olivia Elease Hardy), to adult Disco Donna (Alex Hairston), to Diva Donna/Mary Gaines (Dan’yelle Williamson) playing the double character of the mother, had outstanding vocals and the phenomenal ranges that Donna Summer sang. Her German ex-husband Brian Helmuth/Sommer (Jay Garcia) divorced, and boyfriend Gunther was portrayed as abusive. Her 2nd husband musician Bruce Sodano (Steven Grant Douglas) were together until her untimely death from lung cancer. This was an all star cast! Donna Summer had many hits, was a five time Grammy winner, and best known for “Hot Stuff” “Love to love you Baby” and “Bad Girls!” And of course they sang my favorite, “She Works Hard For the Money!” Donna had three daughters represented in the show too. Let’s remember this legendary Queen of disco who took her “Last Dance” in 2012. This has been another moment in Black History.

The Legendary
The Cast
The Band

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