Coming Soon: Donna Summer, The Musical

The New York Post reports:

Hey, someone left the cake out in the rain! And I’m here to tell you all about it. Director Des McAnuff, of “Jersey Boys” fame, staged a workshop last week of a new musical about the life of disco queen Donna Summer. It’s a gender-bender, with women playing some of the men in her life.

The staging of what’s now being called “The Donna Summer Project” was “masterly,” says one of my spies. “Swift, energetic, sharp — Des at his best.” McAnuff had an assist from choreographer Sergio Trujillo, whose dances for Gloria Estefan’s “On Your Feet!” has audiences on their feet.

Three different actresses played the late singer during three key stages — childhood, superstardom, fading pop icon. I’m told Ariana DeBose, who’ll be on Broadway later this season in “A Bronx Tale: The Musical,” was terrific as Summer at the height of her fame.

Another standout was Katrina Lenk, who played Summer’s Austrian husband and former manager, Helmuth Sommer. (Donna was born LaDonna Adrian Gaines.)

  • Ragnar Lothbrok

    Awesome !!
    How far is it to NYC again ???

    • Bryan

      Is it near Aleppo?

      • Rebecca Gardner

        Beat me to it.

      • M Jackson

        Those damned acronyms!

      • Lumpy Gaga

        What is NYC?

  • Gene

    I WANT to be excited about this.
    I don’t want to be a downer.
    I know..especially for a lot of guys just a decade or two older than me that she was HUGE..

    but..I gotta wonder…where in the musical does she mention that we are terrible sinners and going to hell for being gay..( I prefer my divas to get nicer with age..not the other way around.). hopefully she backtracked after she said that, but if she did, I never heard it.

    (bad girls..must say. a favorite of mine)

  • Rebecca Gardner

    They planned to offer cake to the audience but someone left it out in the rain.

    • Gene

      and you beat ME to that!
      🙂

      • Gene

        (note…I dont really hear HER singing it…I hear the line from Priscilla, Queen of the Desert…and see the pink frosting, but..if anything, that makes it an even MORE wonderfully Gay reference, no? 😉

        • popebuck1

          I’m ashamed to admit, I grew up listening to the Richard Harris version.

          • Gene

            the first of the 12 steps of disco sobriety is to ADMIT the shame popebuck1…you have to embrace and admit the shame

            🙂

            now I want to watch a Harry Potter movie…
            I was just watching Pinky Blinders and it hit me yesterday…”aunt Polly…THATS MALFOYS MOM!” (I am of the belief that there are only 57 great actors in the UK..and one of them must die before another rises, for the good ones seem to have so so many roles!)

          • Rebecca Gardner

            I still have this on vinyl.

          • Joseph Miceli

            (In a tiny voice)
            I loathe Harry Potter.
            (apres moi, le deluge)

          • Gene

            LOL ! LOL!

    • popebuck1

      I hope someone kept the recipe!

      • Rebecca Gardner

        Nope. They’ll never have that recipe again! AAAAGAAAIIINNNN!

        • popebuck1

          YAH-haaaaaaaaaa!

      • Pollos Hermanos

        They’ll never have that recipe again.

  • Pollos Hermanos
    • CanuckDon

      I’ve been dancing up a storm for that cake with this brand new re-work by DJ Meme. Shivers and tears for us Summer fans starting at 7:43 ….fantastic mix!

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VQJNRdoBvMs

      • Russ Noe

        It’s amazing! The extra vocals floored me!!!

      • ChadSF

        I love and truly appreciated what DJ Meme did here. Sure beats the disappointing mix of Laidback Luke. 😒

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    • Lawerence Collins

      🤔😦😣🤔😁😉.
      All at the same time

  • Todd

    HOT STUFF !! Can’t Wait !

    • Harley

      Maybe they can include the interview where she says AIDS was gods punishment to gays and then her career was flushed down the toilet.

      • Lumpy Gaga

        Maybe they can include the hateful years of rumor-spreading that she was not “all woman”.

  • JoeMyGod

    Still my all-time favorite album. (From 1977, not 1978 as the clip title says.)
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HiD1inxyXeE

    • Texndoc

      I had that. Double album 4 side, each one a different theme (?seasons). Seems to me I remember the finale being the best of course

      • Sashineb

        I still have it. It was my first Donna LP.

    • Rex

      I have this on vinyl, tape and I think CD.
      I have pretty much all her albums.

    • Lumpy Gaga

      My turntable has been in hiding for 12 years. I love vinyl-spin YouTubes.

      (Of course, they’re all “illegal”….)

      • David Walker

        I was given a turntable that converts LPs into .mp3s. It is soooooo amazing and wonderful and lovely and sad to hear that vinyl again. I remember preferring LP sound to CD sound and most everyone telling me I was crazy. But the scratches and pops became part of the song. The CD was more convenient but sterile. Vinyl just holds a warmer sound to me. And now MY LPs will be on CD. This could be good.

        • Lumpy Gaga

          Plenty of people will tell you that MP3 is “good enough” but I’m not one of them. My music purchases as of late have reflected an effort to buy hi-res audio (24-bit, 96 or 192khz) purely for the benefit of the doubt. (I don’t even A/B anymore. I don’t have the time or inclination, I don’t want to ruin a musical experience by wringing an optimal bitrate out of 5 too many listens; and I think the human brain makes mincemeat pie out of “scientific” A/B testing.)

          I have a lot of vinyl. If I sat down to listen to it A through Z I’d probably be dead first. A lot of it is just getting unloaded soon.

          All this to say that, a lot of those turnkey vinyl–digital solutions are junk. Use the best turntable you can find, open a bottle of wine, listen to it, and whatever will be will be.

          As Courtney Love said about cheese:

          The thing you gotta do is – A! Stop counting calories! Okay? B! DO not get on a scale! ‘Cause lean muscle weighs more than fat. All right? I cut out FAT! That’s all you gotta do. FAT! No cheese. That’s it, Lisa. Period. NO CHEESE. I told this to KROQ, I told this to my nanny. People I tell this to lose ten, 30 pounds. STOP CHEESE. You know why the Orientals are not fat? ‘Cause they look on cheese as this gross, Western habit – it’s like sour milk LARD. They don’t want anything to fucking do with cheese. If you’re gonna eat cheese, take it out on a picnic, cut it up carefully, and really taste it – with wine or something. Don’t melt it on shit.

        • CanuckDon

          This has been a long-time hobby of mine with my home system directly connected to my computer. The recordings are wav files that I then burn to CD. As for those pops and clicks…oy….I try not to obsess too much over them but will use software to remove them. Great sound quality and no flipping the album over to hear the second side!

          • Lumpy Gaga

            This is why piracy is so great. People with better turntables, better acquisition systems, and better-condition records than mine do “needle drops” and make available hi-res “vinyl rips”. It’s an awesome thing.

          • David Walker

            One of the first things I thought about was, “God, I’d forgotten how much work it was.” Carefully take the album out of the jacket and the sleeve, place it on the turntable, wipe the dust off the disc, and then drop the needle on the groove between cuts. Plus I don’t have 3 records that ever listened to the whole way through after the first time. I noted songs that I liked…but the trouble was placing that fricking needle on the vinyl so as not to harm either the vinyl or the stylus. Happily, the tone arm lift finally came into being, but even that could present problems. But I still love my vinyl.

    • djcoastermark

      Gawd I love that album. I’ve gone through 2 copies of the album and 1 on tape in my lifetime. Way ahead of its time.

  • PickyPecker

    ♪♫ Someone found a letter you wrote me, on the radio
    And they told the world just how you felt… ♫♪

    • Joseph Miceli

      I still have the vinyl! I think I was 10 years old!

      • Rex

        And your parents didn’t know you were gay?

        • Lumpy Gaga

          Back when there was such a thing as records going out of print, and I was still a wee lad in single digits, I wanted the Supremes’ “Where Did our Love Go?” album from Santa Claus. Of course, my parents were too dumb to find it.

          Been going “Rosebud” on it ever since – buying the special editions, the hi-res… Oy.

        • Joseph Miceli

          Denial among low class Catholics is everywhere !!!

      • GayOldLady

        A lot of us still have that vinyl. And I’m not telling how old I was, but I can still see myself dancing under the disco ball, with my wife.

    • Rex

      It must have fallen out of a hole in your old brown overcoat.
      They never said your name, but I knew just who they meant.

      • Russ Noe

        Do you know who inspired that part of her lyric? Singer, songwriter, Stephen Bishop. She said she was toying around with that part of the song and his lyrical style inspired her to write that line. She was, at times, a gifted songwriter as well.

    • M Jackson

      I have great memories of the movie “Foxes” when I was a senior in high school, this song played as Jodie Foster wandered the streets of L.A. full of teenage ennui
      (I’m ignoring the fact that she was accompanied by her bf Scott Baio, back when the little rat was still cute.)

    • HeyYouKidsGetOffMyLawn

      My first 45 single.

  • JoeMyGod

    Her first hit single from 1974, which went to #1 in Belgium and #2 in Holland, but was not released outside Europe. I believe she was still in the German cast of “Hair” when this was recorded.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fYpGnumMaV8

    • Rod Steely

      My friend did a drag routine to this years ago. Thank you. I’d forgotten about this.

    • gothambear

      There was a German import of her greatest hits that had this single in the late 1970’s on vinyl – wish i’d kept it…

  • PickyPecker
  • Rex

    Donna Summer’s music is the soundtrack to my coming out.
    I struggled, as many people do, coming to terms with no longer denying what I knew my truth was, and feeling helpless to know what to do.
    Listening to Donna was my escape, heaven knows – it’s not the way it should be.
    Even now, when I fall into a funk because of feeling lonely, I’ll put on some Donna, have a good cry, and get back to life.

    • hdtex

      I have always had her Disco Opera “Once Upon A Time” inconstant rotation since it was first released. It never gets old….https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XWd_IgPZeQU

      • e’ville_globeguy

        I remember finding “Once Upon A Time” and “Bad Girls” on CD on the same day back around 2002—and neither had been edited, even though they were double albums.

        I played OUAT all the way through the first time, and couldn’t believe how well it had held up. Still a wonderful album.

  • BostonBud

    I wonder if this will be before or after the Pat Benatar Musical which is supposed to make it to Bway soon. Ah…jukebox musicals.

    • Lumpy Gaga

      Hell is for Broadway

  • OT: Milo is on CNBC right now, answering the question, Who are the “Alt-Right?”

  • Statistics Palin

    Fuck her. She kicked gays to the curb during the worst of the AIDS crisis after they made her career for her. She was a mediocre, over-produced talent who only became commercially successful because she wa over-produced.

    • HeyBudBoston

      Go on, you are absolutely fascinating…… No one here has ever heard about this, please, enlighten us.

      • Harley

        I lived it. While all my friends were dying horrible deaths, that bïtch definitely threw us to the curb.

      • Statistics Palin

        an up vote for decent sarcasm.

    • 41PC

      tRump, is that you?

      • Statistics Palin

        No.

    • David Milley

      I remember the shock and pain of that betrayal. Later on, she worked hard to deliver the message that she’d been misrepresented, but it seemed pretty painfully clear at the time. She managed to mostly repair her reputation in the community, I guess, but I’ve always had a momentary chill when she’s mentioned.

  • Acronym Jim

    I remember my high school best friend and I were scandalized by her track “Love to Love You, Baby” because she was supposedly actually bringing herself to climax during the recording of the song.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4JUnwrbU6Wg

  • Lumpy Gaga

    FWIW, her music plays a dramatic role in Adam Haslett’s novel “Imagine Me Gone” (written by a gay man).

  • Lumpy Gaga

    Try Me Try Me Try Me
    Just one time
    Try Me Try Me Try Me
    Any time
    oh, try me for love

  • Ross

    In 1975 I was a pup at 18.

    One night I stepped, nervously, into my first gay bar. Rene’s, in Tampa.

    It was dark. There was music playing. Cigarette smoke filled the air.

    About ten seconds after I entered, a new song began playing. And the crowd went INSANE!

    EVERYBODY raced to the dance floor, the light system suddenly flashed and throbbed, and hundreds of gay men SCREAMED.

    I stood, frozen in place, my jaw dropped in abject wonder and excitement, as Donna Summer’s brand new Love to Love You Baby blasted out from the speakers.

    I knew I wasn’t in Kansas…anymore.

    • Rex

      Thanks for sharing. Being from the same era, the gay bars from that time were the social outlets for gay men and women, and your description took me right back there.

  • jakeinlove

    I wonder how this differs from her own project “Ordinary Girl”. Obviously Donna’s has the music, of which what I’ve heard, is magnificent. I can only imagine that this will focus on the hits, which isn’t so surprising. I just wonder how accurate the content will be and what the real drama, struggle, or ploy will be used to draw us in.

  • Natty Enquirer

    I Feel Money

  • My brother wants Last Dance played at his funeral. This is one of the reasons why I get along so well with him. He likes Donna Summer. He also likes that Andrea True song, More, More, More.

    • Lumpy Gaga

      How does he like it?
      How does he like it?

      (And, ahem – the Andrea True CONNECTION…)

  • fuzzybits

    Still remember when the last song played at the gay club was, “Last dance.”

  • fuzzybits
    • Lumpy Gaga

      I thought this was dripping with Stock, Aitken and Waterman; and Wikipedia confirmed my suspicions. I’m surprised it was as late as 1989 , though. Thought it was older than that.

      • Chuck in NYC

        The Saint’s Black Party that year was at the long-forgotten Red Zone club in the West 50s. Until the mid-1990s, the Black Party was a much smaller event than the Saint’s White Party. DJs played actual songs in 1989, even songs in major keys, by the way. I am quite certain the first time 99.9999% of the people in the room heard “This Time I Know It’s for Real” was that night. It killed on first hearing.

  • Russ Noe

    Donna’s “super” stardom might have faded, but the voice never did. She is still considered to be one of the most talented and gifted pop vocalists of our time.

  • bdsmjack

    I remember buying the I Feel Love record from one of those ‘get ten albums for a penny!’ rip offs. Then you had to buy ten more at regular price and they’d ship the monthly special to you automatically if you didn’t send them a no response. Ugh.

    They opened a teen disco (called Disco Trek)! where I lived at on weekends. I Feel Love was my favorite song.

    And then I discovered The Ramones. I burned all my disco clothes –well, melted them down (all that shiny polyester).

  • e’ville_globeguy

    Any fan who didn’t catch wind of her last album should definitely give it a listen—very fresh. And hunt down the remixes of “I’m A Fire” from her previous album—they’re killer.

  • greenmanTN

    Tessanne Chin (who I’d never heard of before this video) killed it at the White House with her take of “Let’s Dance.” The whole concert of Women Of Soul was great.

    Watching Barack and Michelle Obama dance in their seats convinced me of one thing- coolest President EVER!

    https://youtu.be/qeUiq1ODKz8

  • greenmanTN

    I was a bit too young for disco; I was more New Wave and Blondie. But Donna’s cover of Jon Anderson’s “State of Independence” was a thing of pure beauty.

    https://youtu.be/3XcKN0XbCbU

  • londonbuddy

    I saw Donna Summer at Gayday’s and she was amazing! I wasnt expecting much but I was so impressed that she could still sing as well as she could. And she was followed by fireworks to ‘Xanadu’ It doesnt get much gayer than that and i loved it!

  • band
  • Marti386

    “Coming Soon: Donna Summer, The Musical”

    Yeah, but the ending is gonna suck. Didn’t she become a born again moron, who turned her back on her earlier singing success?

  • e jerry powell

    So producers are becoming so desperate that original ideas are getting shoved aside for jukebox musicals? (Nothing personal against Donna Summer or Gloria Estefan — or Carole King, for that matter — but come on.)

  • Larry in Oklahoma

    This time I know it’s for real. Oh baby!

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  • TheManicMechanic

    Us eldergays remember someone leaving a cake out in the rain. Millennials, on the other hand, want cake by the ocean and they want it all the time.

  • gothambear

    I’d like to know the status of the “Cher” musical – someone got her to agree to license the rights to her catalog and life for a musical and I think she wanted to Exec Produce it. Should be amazing just like her.