Playing the musical icon Donna Summer will be Tony Award winner LaChanze (The Color Purple, Once on This Island) as “Diva Donna,” Ariana DeBose (A Bronx Tale, Hamilton) as “Disco Donna” and Storm Lever (Freaky Friday) as “Duckling Donna.”
Additional casting will be announced soon.
‘Summer’ features a book by Colman Domingo, Robert Cary and Des McAnuff, with songs by Donna Summer, Giorgio Moroder, Paul Jabara and others and will be directed by Des McAnuff and choreographed by Sergio Trujillo, with music supervised by Ron Melrose and scenic design by Robert Brill, costumes by Paul Tazewell, lighting by Howell Binkley, sound by Gareth Owen and projections by Sean Nieuwenhuis. SUMMER is produced by Tommy Mottola, and the Dodgers.
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“Summer” will open on Broadway at the Lunt-Fontanne Theatre, 205 West 46th Street on April 23, 2018.
Preview performances begin March 28, 2018.
She was a girl from Boston with a voice from heaven, who shot through the stars from gospel choir to dance floor diva. But what the world didn’t know was how Donna Summer risked it all to break through barriers, becoming the icon of an era, and the supreme queen for every diva who followed. With a score featuring 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.
Additional production details will be announced shortly.
A developmental production of the new musical recently played a twice-extended engagement at the La Jolla Playhouse.
LaChanze (Diva Donna) won the Tony Award for Best Actress in a Musical in 2006 for The Color Purple. Other Broadway credits include Once on This Island (Tony and Drama Desk nominations), If/Then, Ragtime Company and Uptown It’s Hot. Off-Broadway, she has appeared in Dessa Rose (Obie Award and Drama Desk Award nomination), The Bubbly Black Girl Sheds her Chameleon Skin (Drama Desk Award nomination) Inked Baby. Other theatre credits: The Wiz, Baby, From the Mississippi Delta and Spunk. Film credits include The Help (SAG Award), Side EffectsBreaking Upwards, Confessions of a Shopaholic, Disney’s Hercules, For Love or Money and Leap of Faith. TV credits include “Handel’s Messiah Rocks” (Emmy Award), “Lucy” (CBS TV movie), “Law & Order: SVU,” “Sex and the City,” “New York Undercover” and “The Cosby Show.” MsLaChanze.com; Twitter: @lachanze.
Ariana Debose (Disco Donna) recently wrapped up her run as Jane in Chazz Palminteri’s A Bronx Tale directed by Jerry Zaks and Robert De Niro. Her other credits include Hamilton (Off-Broadway and original Broadway cast), Leading Player in the Tony Winning revival of Pippin, Mary Wilson of the Supremes (Diana Ross cover) in Motown, Nautica in Andy Blankenbuhler’s Bring It On the Musical and Sondheim’s Company with the NY Philharmonic. Her TV credits include: “Blue Bloods” (CBS), “The Breaks” (VH1), “SYTYCD” top 20 season 6 (Fox) & “OLTL” Star Crossed Lovers Series. Instagram & Twitter @arianadebose
Storm Lever (Duckling Donna) recently appeared in La Jolla Playhouse’s production of Freaky Friday. She has appeared off-Broadway as Dorothy in The Wringer(City Center). Other New York theatre: Jade inFashion Academy (Vital Theater); Meredith in Good Swimmer (Prototype Festival). Workshop:The Donna Summer Project. Regional credits include Savannah in Freaky Friday(Signature Theater, VA); understudy in Emotional Creature (Berkeley Rep); Siren in Kansas City Choir Boy (Arsht Center, FL). Education: B.F.A. University of Michigan.