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Summer: The Donna Summer Musical


Last night I was privileged to witness the opening night performance of the latest from the mind of Director Des McInuff (The Who’s Tommy, Jersey Boys) – Summer: The Donna Summer Musical at the Pantages Theater.

It is a spectacle for all the senses!

Diva Donna on stage in Summer the Donna Summer Musical
Photo credit: Matthew Murphy, courtesy of the Pantages Theater

Set to the electrifying beats and rhythms of the Donna Summer catalogue, the audience is swept into her interesting life, from the humble beginnings as one of nine children and follows her career’s atmospheric rise and securing her place in music history as the “Queen of Disco.”.

The musical introduces three Donnas. Duckling Donna, a youthful child, still living in Boston Massachusetts, singing in the church choir with huge dreams of stardom in her eyes. Disco Donna, with a singing career beginning and taking off to unbelievable heights and unimaginable fame. And an older, wiser and earthier Diva Donna, looking back on the unbelievable highs and lows of a breathtaking career and family.

The show opens with a lone record player in the middle of the stage and out walks Diva Donna, played powerfully by Dan’yelle Williamson in bright blue which all of the Donnas predominantly wear throughout the show. A lone record player accompanied her on the stage. Her strong vocals on the song “The Queen is Back” propel the show into and through the highs and lows, keeping the audience waiting for their chance to get up and sing.

They dramatized every one of her hit songs, including On the Radio, Bad Girls, McArthur Park, Dim all the Lights and so many more!

We travel back and forth through time, meeting the powerful people that see the talent that has always been inside her.

The show runs 140 minutes without an intermission, which was a good choice because the momentum of her meteoric rise to stardom really shouldn’t have to take a break.

All of the Donna’s have passionately expressive voices that lift the audience up throughout her life story. The audience was up on its feet cheering by the end with a disco recreated on stage.

The show runs November 5th-24th .

Summer the Donna Summer Musical Playbill
image courtesy of the Pantages Theater

By Gail Honeystein on behalf of MomsLA



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