Tony Award winner LaChanze (The Color Purple), as well as Ariana DeBose (Hamilton), and Storm Lever (Freaky Friday), will each play Donna Summer at various stages in her life in the La Jolla Playhouse world premiere of Summer: The Donna Summer Musical. As previously announced, performances will begin November 7.
La Chanze, DeBose, and Lever will play Diva Donna, Disco Donna and Duckling Donna, respectively, in the musical that incorporates hits from Summer’s career into a book written by Colman Domingo (Wild With Happy, The Scottsboro Boys), Robert Cary (Grease Live, A Christmas Story Live), and Summer director Des McAnuff (Jersey Boys, Tommy).
“Led by three powerhouse actresses in the title role, the cast of this dazzling new musical is poised to give full, glorious voice to the story and music of Donna Summer,” said Tony-winning Artistic Director Christopher Ashley in a statement.
The musical is framed through the lens of Summer’s final concert as it flashes back to tell her life story. Summer features over 20 songs from the disco icon’s career, including “Love to Love You, Baby,” “Bad Girls,” “Hot Stuff,” and more.
The cast also includes Mackenzie Bell, Kimberly Dodson, Anissa Felix, Drew Foster, Ari Groover, Afra Hines, Aaron Krohn, Jenny Laroche, Wonu Ogunfowora, Rebecca Riker, Christina Robinson, Ken Robinson, Jessica Rush, Kaye Tuckerman, Jared Zirilli, Aurelia Michael, and Andra Caston.
Summer will play an extended run through December 17. The musical is choreographed by Sergio Trujillo. Musical supervision is by Ron Melrose, and orchestrations are by Bill Brendle. Victoria Theodore serves as music director and conductor
Rounding out the creative team are scenic design Robert Brill, costume designer Paul Tazewell, lighting designer Howell Binkley, sound designer Gareth Owen, and dramaturg Shirley Fishman. Casting is by Tara Rubin.
Visit LaJollaPlayhouse.org for more information.