Summer: The Donna Summer Musical

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Summer: The Donna Summer Musical
Donna Summer Musical Playbill.jpg
2018 Broadway Playbill
BasisThe life of Donna Summer
PremiereNovember 7, 2017: La Jolla Playhouse
Productions2017 San Diego
2018 Broadway

Summer: The Donna Summer Musical is a jukebox musical with book by Colman Domingo, Robert Cary, and Des McAnuff and music and lyrics Donna Summer, Giorgio Moroder, Pete Bellotte, Paul Jabara, and others, based on the life of Summer.

The musical made its premiere at the La Jolla Playhouse in November 2017 and opened on Broadway in April 2018.


The La Jolla Playhouse presented the musical in a limited engagement from November 7 until December 24, 2017.

The musical premiered on Broadway at the Lunt-Fontanne Theatre on March 28, 2018 (previews), prior to an April 23, 2018 opening.[1] The musical is directed by Des McAnuff, with scenic design by Robert Brill, costumes by Paul Tazewell, lighting by Howell Binkley, projections by Sean Nieuwenhuis, sound by Gareth Owen, and was produced by Tommy Mottola and Thalía.[2][3]

The musical closed on Broadway on December 30, 2018 after 289 performances.

A tour in North America started September 29, 2019.[4] The tour started at the RBTL Auditorium in Rochester, New York. The cast will feature Dan’yelle Williamson (Diva Donna), Alex Hairston (Disco Donna), and Olivia Elease Hardy (Duckling Donna).[5]

Broadway Licensing acquired the rights for all future stock and amateur performances.[6]


The musical shows Donna Summer at three times of her life. Duckling Donna is in her pre-teens, starting out in Boston; Disco Donna, in her late teens and 20s, has her initial success; Diva Donna is in her 50s and at the top of her career.

Musical numbers[edit]


Character La Jolla (2017) Broadway (2018) US Tour (2019)
Diva Donna / Mary Gaines LaChanze Dan'yelle Williamson
Disco Donna Ariana DeBose Alex Hairston
Duckling Donna / Mimi Storm Lever Olivia Elease Hardy
Giorgio Moroder Mackenzie Bell Kaleigh Cronin Kyli Rae
Young Dara / Amanda Kimberly Dodson Cameron Anika Hill
Adult Mary Ellen Anissa Felix DeQuina Moore
Brian Drew Foster Jay Garcia[a]
Ami / DJ Ari Groover N/A N/A
Maid / Michael[b] Afra Hines Brittany Nicole Williams/Candace J. Washington
Neil Bogart / Gunther/ Sommelier Aaron Krohn John Gardiner
Norm Brokaw[c] Jenny Laroche Tamrin Goldberg
Mary Ellen / Brooklyn Wonu Ogunfowora De'Ja Simone
Bob Rebecca Riker Brooke Lacy
Adult Dara Christina Acosta Robinson Crystal Sha'nae
Andrew Gaines / Doctor Ken Robinson Erick Pinnick
Joyce Bogart Jessica Rush Trish Lindström
Pete Bellotte Kaye Tuckerman Jennifer Byrne
Bruce Sudano Jared Zirilli Steven Grant Douglas
Pastor Jenny Laroche Harris M. Turner Sir Brock Warren
Helmuth Sommer Drew Foster Drew Foster Jay Garcia
Don Engel Kaye Tuckerman Kaye Tuckerman Jennifer Byrne
David Geffen Mackenzie Bell Mackenzie Bell Brooke Lacy
Detective Drew Foster Mackenzie Bell Brooke Lacy

Awards and nominations[edit]

Original Broadway production[edit]

Year Award Ceremony Category Nominee Result
2018 Drama League Awards[7] Outstanding Production of a Broadway or Off-Broadway Musical Nominated
Distinguished Performance Ariana DeBose Nominated
LaChanze Nominated
Tony Awards[8] Best Performance by a Leading Actress in a Musical LaChanze Nominated
Best Performance by a Featured Actress in a Musical Ariana DeBose Nominated


  1. ^ Also played Helmuth
  2. ^ Role split in national tour
  3. ^ Role split for national tour


  1. ^ Chow, Andrew (December 19, 2017). "A Donna Summer Musical Heads to Broadway". New York Times. Retrieved January 25, 2018. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  2. ^ Hetrick, Adam. "Read Reviews for 'Summer: The Donna Summer' Musical on Broadway" Playbill, April 23, 2018
  3. ^ Thalía produce musical de Donna Summer
  4. ^ Hetrick, Adam. " 'Summer: The Donna Summer Musical' to Close on Broadway" Playbill, November 28, 2018
  5. ^ Gans, Andrew. "Dan’yelle Williamson, Alex Hairston, and Olivia Elease Hardy Will Star in Tour of Summer: The Donna Summer Musical"., Playbill, August 21, 2019
  6. ^ "Broadway Licensing". Broadway Licensing.
  7. ^ "Breaking: THE BAND'S VISIT, ANGELS IN AMERICA, MEAN GIRLS, FROZEN, And More Earn Drama League Nominations; See The Full List!". April 18, 2018. Retrieved April 19, 2018.
  8. ^ "2018 Tony Award Nominations: SpongeBob SquarePants and Mean Girls Lead the Pack". Playbill. May 1, 2018.

External links[edit]