The producers of Ordinary Girl, the stage musical conceived by pop star Donna Summer, are currently piecing together a schedule which they hope will result in a U.S. tour launching sometime during the 2003-04 season.
A New York production is the eventual, though long range, goal.
Summer herself was originally set to star in Ordinary Girl, which roughly traces the disco singer's life and career. That is no longer the plan, a spokesperson told Playbill On-Line. The central role has not been recast at this juncture.
The tour was originally to have begun April 26, 1999, in Chicago, then wend its way across the nation, ending on Broadway in fall 1999. But Summer opted to spend the summer on a concert tour in support of her new album on Sony records. The tour was then pushed back until spring 2000.
Ordinary Girl will tell the life story of the one-time disco queen. At last report, the score consisted of 16 new songs, all written or co-written by Summer, including some of the '70s dance songs that made her famous, such as "Last Dance," "She Works Hard for the Money" and "Hot Stuff." Other numbers will be new Broadway-style songs designed to advance the plot. Among Summer's writing partners on the project are Al Kasha (who wrote "Hot Stuff"), Bruce Sudano and Michael Omartian — all men she's worked with for years. Unlike Paul Simon, Billy Joel, 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.
Summer has referred 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 producer Peter Holmes a Court. "There will be a point in the musical where you're not sure if you're in a musical or a concert. Donna doesn't want to judged by the yardstick of what is a concert or the yardstick of what is a musical."
—By Robert Simonson