The Donna Summer Tribute Site

The November Concerts

Ok, before you all say anything, I KNOW I'm spoiled. I not only got to see Donna live in Connecticut on Saturday, I saw her again in Atlantic City on Wednesday, and Sunday, AND I was at the taping for The View on Tuesday. I'm looking forward to going back to work this week so I can rest. LOL I'm not really sure where to start, so I guess I'll start at the beginning and see where I end up. (What did my high school English teachers used to say about writing an outline first? LOL No imagination!! LOL)

So the adventure started on Saturday November 20 when I met up with several friends in Connecticut. This was the first time I was even in Mohegan Sun, but it was OK. The only thing is that it doesn't have a real theater, so they use the bingo hall for shows. They had a sign up in front of the hall saying bingo was cancelled for the night due to a special event. I couldn't help but think that there were probably a few bingo addicts cursing Donna's name that night. LOL

The show itself was… well… interesting. Although it was a bit rough around the edges (probably because it was the first show in awhile) everyone on that stage was in such a good (not to mention silly) mood that it was VERY easy to forgive a few minor glitches. Donna joked around a lot that night. One of the highlights was when she decided to sing Happy Birthday to her niece and to some of the fans in the audience who were also celebrating birthdays. But instead of just singing it straight, Donna decided to do it as Naomi Campbell. So she adopted Naomi's accent and joked around a bit more before finally deciding that "I gotta be me" and singing the song as herself. Yeah right - she SAID she was singing it as herself, but it was a bit Marilyn Monroe like to me. LOL

Another highlight was On The Radio. As she's been doing most of this tour, Donna pulled 3 fans out of the audience to sing back up. One of the three was our own Veronica Scaglione (and if you don't know who that is, you haven't been to enough concerts! LOL She's probably one of the most "famous" Donna fans out there.) Did I say they were there to SING back up? Maybe I should have said they were Donna's dancers. Those three ended up taking over quite a bit of the stage with their moves. I'm not really sure how to describe the dancing, but it was absolutely hysterical. Veronica later told me she was doing the I Feel Love dance… yeah, sure Veronica! LOL As you all know, I've seen a few shows this year (ok more than a few, you can stop laughing now), and this had to be the most outrageous group of "background singers" Donna has pulled up. For a few minutes, Donna was totally upstaged! LOL I really wish I had a video of that… I could use the blackmail money! (Right Veronica?)

OK, I know you are all wondering about the song list - so here goes (to the best of my memory): This Time I Know It's For Real, MacArthur Park, I Feel Love (which was thrown in last minute), If There Is Music There, Someone To Watch Over Me, No More Tears (with Mary doing the Barbra part), I Don't Wanna Work That Hard, Dim All The Lights, She Works Hard For The Money, Bad Girls, Hot Stuff, Love Is The Healer, and Last Dance.

I have to say it was a typical casino crowd for the most part. There were pockets of diehard fans here and there, but there were also pockets of people who obviously were guests of the casino. I could definitely feel that "freak vibe" coming from some of the people around me every time I stood up and they didn't. LOL (I was so tempted to shout out BINGO just to see what would happen! LOL) But at least security didn't try to stop people from moving around. There were people dancing in the aisles, and by the end of the show many of us had managed to sneak up front. That actually gave my friends and I a chance to crack up Mary. We had brought a banner that said "Mary- The REAL diva" and once we got up close to the stage she was able to see it. (I actually have another banner in a similar vein for the next show. Tina Arena fans live in fear! LOL)

Next up was The View taping on Tuesday. There's really not much to tell that you haven't seen on the broadcast. Donna looked great and got on well with the hosts again, and when she got up to sing Love Is The Healer - she NAILED that long note so well that it caused feedback in the sound system. I guess that woke up the soundman! LOL I wish they would have taped some of the antics before the show though. I had the pleasure of witnessing the fabulous Albert and the still-titleless Eldo help warm up the audience with their renditions of some of Donna's songs. They do a vocal rhythm track for I Feel Love that has to be experienced to be believed. Because Albert and Eldo were at the last taping and the hosts recognized them, they were given seats near Donna when she sang. You can see them on camera singing along with Donna. There is one thing I have to mention that happened during a commercial break. When they set up for Love Is The Healer, the View people moved some of the audience to seats near Donna. The (in)famous Veronica and I were left where we were. But Donna saw us, waved, and then SHE looked to see if there were anymore seats near here. There weren't of course, but Donna if you read this I want you to know that Veronica and I noticed, and we appreciated the effort. As it so happens I had a decent view through the camera monitor anyway.

There was very little time to rest after The View, because Wednesday I was up early and on the road to Atlantic City. (No I didn't lose my shirt, but I didn't win either… ) Phil and I had tickets to the show that night and it was worth the drive! The show was so much tighter that the Mohegan Sun show, but it didn't lose any of it's humor either. The best of both worlds! I expected the same song line up as in Mohegan Sun, but I was very surprised when Donna opened with I Will Go With You. That made a nice treat. Other than that the show was pretty much the same as in Connecticut. Someone To Watch Over Me and I Feel Love were dropped, but Different Road was reinstated. (I LOVE that song!) And even though Mary wasn't there in Atlantic City (she was home for the Thanksgiving holiday), Donna still did Enough Is Enough, but as a solo. And she went back to introducing it with the red Ferrari story. I have to tell you this was probably the funniest, most over the top version of the story I have ever seen. I would have fallen out of my chair laughing if they didn't pack you in like sardines at Caesars. (If you don't know the red Ferrari story, I can post it if there is a demand - but I'll tell you now there is NO WAY I can do it justice on a computer screen. It needs to be seen to be appreciated.)

There were a few interesting unrehearsed bits that night too. At one point someone hollered out a request for Mimi's Song, and although the band didn't know it - Donna still sang a couple of lines accapella for us. It sounded really good too! She also sang Happy Birthday to a young fan in the audience, but instead of the Marilyn Monroe version she did in Connecticut - she really did sing it like herself this time.

Sunday's show (which I affectionately refer to as the Donna Summer comedy hour … well, maybe comedy hour and a quarter is more accurate LOL) was almost the same as Wednesday's show with one notable exception - Different Road was out and White Christmas was in. You read that right, Donna sang White Christmas and she NAILED it! You wanna talk about goosebumps? That in and of itself was worth the drive. :-) (By the way, have I mentioned recently that Christmas Spirit is my all time favorite CD? And have I mentioned recently that if you don't have it you should get it? NOW! LOL) Actually White Christmas gave Donna a chance to plug her Christmas album, but even she had to admit it's hard to find. (It is very hard to find in stores, but it is readily available online in many places - so there's no excuse not to have it. Ok I'm done twisting everyone's arm for now - and no, I don't get commission from Christmas Spirit. LOL) That was probably the most serious moment in the show - silliness permeated the rest of it. :-)   At one point Donna warned us that since it was the last show of the engagement, the guys in the band might do some crazy things. Yeah sure Donna, THE BAND was going to be silly! LOL Actually it was the lead singer who got a little crazy…… ;-)  Let's see… she ranked on the previous night's audience a little bit, she danced alittle, and she "scolded" a couple in the audience who were kissing. ("Uh there's a show going on up here. You paid a lot of money to see DONNA SUMMER! I guess he must have some hot lips?" LOL) But the funniest part of the night was when Donna sang Happy Birthday to yet another audience member. (Donna you might as well stick that on a CD! LOL) This time she did it opera style in a tenor voice. She even cracked herself up! The woman is such a nut! LOL

I should note that there were a couple of personnel changes for these shows. George Perelli was back on the drums for all the shows, and in Atlantic City Eddie Hokenson filled in for the vacationing Mary. I have to say that Eddie always looks like he's having a blast on stage, but he does look kind of silly wearing Mary's dress. (I'm KIDDING! Of course he wasn't wearing Mary's dress……… he was wearing Donna's, and he looked surprisingly good. ;-) Hmmm…somewhere out there is someone who's going to actually believe Eddie was in a dress… LOL)

Ok, this is the part of the report where I explain a few things. As some of you are aware, I've been writing this on and off as time permits between work, holiday preparations and normal site maintenance. By now I'm sure you have read Donna's holiday message to the fans (which will be published in the next fan club newsletter too). In it she says "let me be the first to tell you, that is in case Cathy hasn't told you already, that Bruce and I are going to be grandparents again this summer." OK, I confess, I did know that Mimi and Rick are expecting and I didn't post it. Here's the story - after Wednesday's show, Phil and I got to see Donna backstage. (Yes, I know I'm lucky and spoiled and all that. I already admitted that. Save your breath! LOL) After the usual meet and greet thing, the other fans, radio contest winners, etc left and Phil and I got to stay and chat with Donna for a little while. That's when Donna mentioned that Mimi is pregnant again. The thing is, since Mimi is not that far along and since Phil and I were the only fans there at the time, I considered the conversation to be more or less off the record so to speak.

Anyway - to make a long story short, I had a GREAT week! Thank you Donna!

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