The world premiere of the new Donna Summer musical is proving to be hot stuff for the La Jolla Playhouse, where the production (officially titled Summer: The Donna Summer Musical) will open November 19.
Summer has been an in-demand ticket since previews began November 7. Following an initial extension through December 17, the La Jolla Playhouse has announced a second extension for Summer, which will now close December 24.
The cast is led by Tony Award winner LaChanze (The Color Purple), Ariana DeBose (Hamilton), and Storm Lever (Freaky Friday), each of whom play Summer at various stages in her life, taking on the respective roles of Diva Donna, Disco Donna, and Duckling Donna.
More than 20 of the Grammy Award-winning singer-songwriter's hits are featured in the show, including “Bad Girls,” “She Works Hard for the Money,” “MacArthur Park,” “On the Radio,” “No More Tears (Enough Is Enough),” and “Dim All the Lights,” which Summer wrote alone.
Check out these just-released photos of Summer: The Donna Summer Musical below:
Exclusive First Look at Summer: The Donna Summer Musical
Summer is directed by Tony Award winner Des McAnuff (Jersey Boys, Tommy), who collaborated on the book with Tony nominee Colman Domingo (Wild With Happy, The Scottsboro Boys), and Robert Cary (Grease Live, A Christmas Story Live).
The musical brings Summer’s story full circle. She got her start in musical theatre, landing her first job in the European tour of Hair at the age of 18. Summer incorporates “White Boys (Black Boys)” from the score. She remained in Munich, where she had a successful career, appearing in productions of Godspell, Porgy and Bess, Show Boat, The Me Nobody Knows, among others. Prior to her death in 2012, Summer had been developing her own Broadway bio-musical titled Ordinary Girl, in which she planned to star.
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.
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 designer Robert Brill, costume designer Paul Tazewell, lighting designer Howell Binkley, sound designer Gareth Owen, projection designer Sean Nieuwenhuis, and dramaturg Shirley Fishman. Casting is by Tara Rubin.
Visit LaJollaPlayhouse.org for more information.
(Updated November 15, 2017)