The new autobiographical Donna Summer musical, Ordinary Girl, will begin its pre-Broadway, North American tour in Chicago, where it will play the last week of April 1999. It will then proceed to Cleveland, Miami, Baltimore, Toronto and Boston, before landing on Broadway sometime in the fall of 1999.
Ordinary Girl, conceived by and starring Summer, will tell the life story of the one-time disco queen. Spokesman Peter Holmes a Court said the score will consist of 16 new songs, all written or co-written by Summer, along with some of the '70s dance hits that made her famous. Her hits included "Last Dance," "She Works Hard for the Money" and "Hot Stuff."
Summer's writing partners include Al Kasha (who wrote "Hot Stuff"), Bruce Sudano, and Michael Omartian -- all men she's worked with for years. The score ranges from disco anthems to power ballads to "Broadway-story-advancing songs," in Holmes a Court's words.
Unlike Paul Simon, Barry Manilow, Elton John and other pop stars who have ventured into the musical theatre in recent seasons, Summer has a background on the legitimate stage, having, in her youth, toured Europe in such shows as Hair. "She understands what it means to be on stage," said Holmes a Court. "She has no fantasies about it. She knows what it takes."
Summer refers to her new project as "contheatre," a hybrid of the stage and the stadium. "The story is told in the backdrop of a concert, and a concert grows out of the story," explained Holmes a Court. "There will a point in the musical where you're not sure if you're in a musical or a concert. Donna doesn't what to judged by the yardstick of what is a concert or the yardstick of what is a musical." Ordinary Girl is co-produced by Steve Leber Productions and Back Row Productions. A television special and a concept album promoting the show are planned for September.
The overseas tour will commence sometime this fall with a few dates in the U.K. provinces before settling in for a run in the West End. The road dates of the North American tour follow. Unless otherwise indicated, each stop is a week-long stay. Other cites may be added and all dates are subject to change.
Apr. 26, 1999: Chicago
May 3 (two weeks): Cleveland, OH
May 17: Miami
May 31: Baltimore, MD
Jun. 7-Jul. 4: Toronto, Canada
July 5-Aug. 29: Boston
-- By Robert Simonson