The fate of Ordinary Girl, the stage musical conceived by and starring pop star Donna Summer, remains hazy. When last heard from, the show, based on Summer's life and featuring disco anthems such as "Last Dance" and "Hot Stuff," was hoping to begin a pre-Broadway U.S tour in spring 2000. Spokesman Peter Holmes a Court [sic] told Playbill On-Line that the tour has been now been delayed further. At this time, there is no specific start-up date.
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 pushed back until spring 2000.
Ordinary Girl will tell the life story of the one-time disco queen. 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 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