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Donna Summer

Last update: January 13,  2019

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[SUMMER: The Donna Summer Musical]

 

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Donna Summer: She could sing anything, anywhere, with anyone, at any time.

 

 


[JAN 13] Greetings all! Don't forget that tomorrow we have the REELZ special at 9pm (ET). You can check the REELZ website or your local listings to find out where to find REELZ in your area. (I found that for me, the REELZ site gave the wrong channel number and I was better off just checking with my cable company's website.)

[JAN 13] Florida - don't forget that Mary Gaines Bernard is performing her tribute to her big sister at the Duncan Theater in Late Worth, FL on January 16. Be there!  :-)

[JAN 13] Johnnyswim fans - our favorite duo has a new album coming out soon. They have been teasing it on social media all week. Check their instagram feed for the video tease and make sure you click each of the pics to see the song titles. Or you can watch the video on their website and then sign up for their newsletter (if you haven't already.)  And I believe we will see the teasing stop tomorrow in favor of an official announcement.  :-)

[JAN 13] Bruce Sudano fans - catch him next weekend at the 30A Songwriter's Festival in South Walton, Fl.  And check out his new video on Facebook for Common Sense.  When you watch it, pay very close attention to the lyrics. They become more relevant  every single day.

[JAN 13] And I think that brings us to YouTube. First up a full length concert from Brazil 1995.  (You will love how much fun she has in some places in the show!  :-) ) Then we have the video for Fame, and my favorite clip - Donna with Barry Manilow on Could It Be Magic.  ANd for fun, here is Mary featuring Andrew Christian on Heaven Knows from her recent show in Aventura, FL.

[JAN 6] Happy Sunday all!  And happy belated birthday to Brooklyn Sudano! Reminder - we have the REELZ special on Donna coming up on January 14. (So nice to have something to look forward to on TV again.  :-) )

[JAN  6] Let me wrap up the musical coverage (at least until the tour starts or the West End production starts.) Grosses for the final performance week (December 30) were $1,094,723 so it ended with a bang.  :-)  You can see the cast's final bows on Facebook. And if it's still there, check out Storm Lever's takeover of the Broadway World Instagram feed.  (Just look for her name in the stories bar. It was there as I typed this, but Instagram stories do tend to disappear after awhile.)

[JAN 6] I wanted to take this opportunity to put Summer's run into some sort of context. Because it opened so late in it's season, I'm going to look at both the 2017-18 season and the 2018-19 season - and of course, just the musicals.  Over those 2 seasons we have had 17 musicals open so far (by my count.)  Only 8 of those are still open and some of those are VERY recent like Kong Kong,  Cher, and The Prom. Looking at the ones that closed, Summer had a pretty good run with 289 regular performances.  Going from the lowest to highest number of performances we have  both Getting The Band Back Together and Rocktopia with 40 performances each.  Then we have Escape To Margaritaville with 124,  the revival of Carousel with 181, Head Over Heels with 188 (that one just closed today),  Springsteen On Broadway with 229, then Summer with 289,  Spongebob Squarepants with 327, and  Once On This Island (also closing today) with 458.  That leaves the following shows still open: The Band's Visit which opened November 9, 2017, Frozen  which opened  March 22, 2018 (that's Disney's hot property so it may run forever  lol) , Mean Girls which opened April 8, 2018, the revival of My Fair Lady which opened April 14, 2018,  Pretty Woman which opened August 16, 2018, King Kong which opened November 8, 2018, The Prom which opened  November 15, 2018 and Cher which opened December 3, 2018.  And of course there is still plenty of time for more to open for the 2018-19 season. So in a nutshell, I'm pretty happy with Summer's run - especially since they are taking it on the road.  Yeah, I would have preferred it to run forever  lol but I think this was a pretty decent run.  :-)

[JAN 6] Moving on to the Diva herself.  :-)  As you know Donna's birthday was the 31st and that means fans were celebrating - i ncluding those who work in the media.  :-)  So the Daily Beast posted a really nice tribute, Albumism reposted their profile of Donna,  BBC Radio 2's Sounds Of The 80s played a Donna Summer Mastermix, and a journalist named Luis Lapuente came out with a book called Historia De La Música Disco which of course mentions Donna.  There is an article about the book here, but be advised that it is in Spanish.

[JAN 6] Bruce Sudano fans - check out his rendition of Things Are Changing from his Threefer Madness show at City Vineyard.

[JAN 6] I think that brings us to YouTube.  Let's watch some New Year's Eve clips . We have You're So Beautiful from Dick Clark's Rockin' Eve 2004,  Could It Be Magic  and Try Me from the 1977 New Year's Rockin' Eve, Donna on Merv Griffin's 1993 New Year's Eve special,  and Donna and company singing Auld Lang Syne at midnight on the 1976-77 New Year's Rockin' Eve.

[JAN 1]  Happy 2019 all! It's a new month so it's time for the new Summer Fever Pick.  This month we look at All Systems Go.  :-)

[DEC 29]  Happy (almost) New Year all! and happy (almost) birthday to Donna who would be celebrating the big 70 this year.  (Wasn't it only yesterday she was celebrating the big 50 with white roses at the Live & More Encore taping?) Let's start off with some Donna news. The REELZ channel is celebrating the disco era this January with a special about Donna on January 14 at 9PM ET and a special about Saturday Night Fever on January 19 at 9PM ET. To find out how to see REELZ in your area, you can try their website. However, I can tell you that it messed up the channel number for my cable provider,  so you might want to check with your TV provider instead.

[DEC 29]  In other time sensitive news, Mary Gaines Bernard will once again be singing her sister's songs in concert!  And this time she has a few dates planned. January 5 she will be in Aventura, FL at the Aventura Cultural Arts Center, January 16 she will be at the Duncan Theater in Lake Worth, FL, and March 8 she will be at the Lyric Theater in Stuart, FL.  YAY!!! Start planning your Florida trips now!

[DEC 29] in musical news, the grosses for the week of December 23 were down a bit to $493,604. As you know, the last Broadway performance of Summer will take place tomorrow and then we will have to wait patiently (or impatiently - we fans are really good at that!  LOL) for news of the touring production and the West End production.  :-)  I only got to see the show twice (I was going to sneak into NYC to catch it again this weekend but circumstances conspired against me) and both  times I was moved to tears. I would like to take this opportunity to thank the entire company of Summer: The Donna Summer Musical for all their talent, hard work and dedication.  You have helped to keep Donna's legacy alive and for that I will be forever grateful. And, yes, I am going to list all the names here because they all deserve to be listed.  A big round of applause for the cast: LaChanze, Ariana DeBose, Storm Lever, Aaron Krohn, Ken Robinson, Jared Zirilli, Angelica Beliard, Mackenzie Bell, Kaleigh Cronin. Kimberly Dodson, Anissa Felix, Drew Wildman Foster, Judith Franklin, Afra Hines,  Jenny Laroche,  Aurelia Michael, Wonu Ogunfowora, Jody Reynard, Rebecca Riker, Christina Acosta Robinson, Jessica Rush, Kaye Tuckerman, Harris M Turner,  and Kristin Yancy. I hope we see at least some of you again in the touring company or in the West End company, but if not - best of luck to you all in your next projects!

And another round of applause for the creative team (music, choreography, costumes, etc): Colman Domingo - book, Robert Cary - book, Des Mcanuff - director, book, Sergio Trujillo - choreographer, Ron Melrose - music supervisor and arranger, Robert Brill - scenic desigh, Paul Tazewell - costume design, Howell Binkley - Lighting design, Gareth Owen - sound designer, Sean Nieuwenhuis - projection design, Charles G. Lapointe - wig design, Steve Rankin - fight director, Bill Brendell - orchestrations, John Miller - music coordinator, Victoria Theodore - music director, Randy Cohen - synthesizer programmer, Hudson Theatrical Associates - technical supervisor, Richard Hester - Production Supervisor, Beverly Jenkins - production stage manager, Lucy Kennedy - stage manager, Samantha Preiss - Asst stage manager, Tara Rubin Casting - casting, Tommy Mottola - producer, The Dodgers - producer, Lauren Mitchell - creative producer, La Jolla Playhouse - original producer.

Thank you to the Lunt Fontanne Theater for being a home to Summer: The Donna Summer Musical, thank you to Bond 45 for the after parties every night, and thank you to all the people whose names never make the Playbill - the box  office staff, security team, cleaning crew, bartenders, merchandise sales people, ushers - basically all the people who keep the theater running.

And finally, thanks to everybody who saw the show and ended up dancing in their seats.  We can talk about  Billboard charts, gold records, influences on other artists, etc all day long - but the main thing is that Donna's music was meant to be a good time. She always said, "Sing if you want to sing, dance if you want to dance." She wanted her audiences to have a good time! And if you were at the musical singing and dancing - then you truly were celebrating Donna's legacy whether you knew it at the time or not.  :-)

Cast of Summer

[DEC 29] I think that brings us to YouTube.  Let's send off the musical with a look back at some of the clips we have.  First up is the cast freezing their collective butts off at the Macy's Thanksgiving Parade. Then we have their Tony Award performance assorted clips from Broadway.com, a short clip of MacArthur Park from Playbill.com,  a few seconds of the finale, a clip of Friends Unknown,  and a Suecase Hall video celebrating the musical (including the clip of Donna's daughters at the Tonys). Take a bow for a job well done ladies (and gentlemen)!

Merry Christmas

[DEC 21] Happy Friday and Season Greetings to all! Don't forget, if you want to see Summer: The Donna Summer Musical on Broadway, this is your last week! The show closes on December 30 and then we won't be able to see it again until it hits the West End in London and  goes on tour here in the US in 2019.

[DEC 21] Speaking of the musical, for the week of December 16, grosses were down a bit to $548,217. And  The Broadway League has short videos under the hashtag #MyBroadwayStory featuring Ariana DeBose and LaChanze.  (The links are to Facebook videos, but you can also find them on Twitter.  You just might have to scroll down through their feed a bit to find them.)

[DEC 21] Johnnyswim fans - our favorite duo will be performing in Santa Barbara  at the Granada Theater January 12 for the  Kids Helping Kids Benefit Concert.  And depending on when you are reading this,  there are still a few tickets left for tomorrow's Christmas concert in Los Angeles.

[DEC 21] That brings us to YouTube. Instead of sharing clips with you, this week I am sharing a playlist of holiday tunes from Donna, Johnnyswim and Mary Gaines Bernard. So enjoy!

[DEC 21] And finally the message in the above graphic came from one of the old fan club news letters. I thought you guys might get a kick out of a message in Donna's own handwriting. I'll be back next weekend.  :-)

[DEC 15] Greetings all! Can you believe it's only 10 days until Christmas? I'll have a little special graphic for you on next weekend's update to mark the holiday.  :-)

[DEC 15] I guess we can start with the musical again. (And don't forget you only have about 2 weeks left to catch it on Broadway!) So, for the week of December 9, grosses were up to $609,963.

[DEC 15] If you are still in the market for memorabilia from Summer: The Musical,  the official Broadway site still has stuff for sale and it looks like the prices on at least some items have gone down.  So grab some deals while you can.  :-)

[DEC 15] Bruce Sudano fans - check out his performance of The Garden Of November from his Threefer Madness show in Rockville, MD.

[DEC 15] That brings us to YouTube. This week thanks to some uploads by DonnaSummerVEVO we are going to celebrate Live & More Encore. So let's start with a clip that always takes me right back to that moment in the theater - MacArthur Park. Then we have Dim All The Lights (the first look any of us got of the actual VH1 special), Someone To Watch Over Me, I Don't Wanna Work That Hard, Nobody, and the Ordinary Girl song, If There Is Music There.

[DEC 8] Happy Saturday all! I guess we can start with the musical again.  For the week of  December 2 grosses were up a bit to $511,550.   :-) And Broadwaybox.com has 7 questions with Aaron Krohn (Neil Bogart/Gunther) about the show (and other things.)

[DEC 8} London - keep an eye on the West End. Summer: The Donna Summer Musical is reportedly heading that way in 2019 according to WestEndTheatre.com. No specific date or venue has been announced yet, but you can sign up for email updates.

[DEC 8] As you know the 2018 Carols For A Cure album is out now and it includes one track from the cast of Summer.  BroadwayWorld.com reviewed the album and you can read that review right here.

[DEC 8] Johnnyswim fans - the pair have completed their new album (release to be announced.)  As you know, they are performing in LA on December 22 and you just might get to hear one of the new sons at that show.   :-) They are also performing January 12 in Santa Barbara.

[DEC 8] Bruce Sudano fans - if you are in NY check out his Threefer Madness show at City Vineyard. You can also read an article about Threefer Madnesss at UnionvilleTimes.com.

[DEC 8] I think that brings us to YouTube. Let's do some live stuff this week. First up is audio of Donna's cover of Natural Woman. Then we have an audio of Donna covering Georgia On My Mind,  video of Nights In White Satin, video of Pearls, and video of Donna's cover of Nature Boy.

[DEC 1] Greetings all. Today is World AIDs Day so let's take a moment to remember those who were taken from us too soon.

[DEC 1] Ok now for the bad news. If you haven't heard already, Summer: The Donna Summer Musical will close on December 30, 2018. So that gives you just about a month to catch it on Broadway.  Now a touring production has been announced, but that  won't start until September.  When it closes, it will have played 289 regular performances plus 27 previews.

[DEC 1] So I guess I should move on to the grosses. For the week of November 25 sales were down to $462,727. I wonder if the announced closing will bump up sales?

[DEC 1] In the Donna's music is everywhere category, the UK food delivery service Just Eat is using Hot Stuff in their latest ad campaign.

[DEC 1] Bruce Sudano fans - catch Bruce Live From The Couch on Facebook with a new song called In The Garden Of November.  And as you know, Bruce is on tour with his Threefer Madness partners Dan Navarro and Chas Sanford.  Last night he was at Live at Drews with Dan Navarro and they put it on Facebook live. So if you have Facebook, you can watch the show here.

[DEC 1]  That brings us to YouTube.  Let's take a look at clips exploring Donna's painting.  First up is a news clip on one of Donna's 1990 gallery showings. Then we have Donna showing some of her work to Regis & KathieLee,  Donna on Lifestyles of The Rich & Famous, and Donna on MTV's Week In Rock.

 

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[JAN 13]

"[I remember] days on the front porch with my sisters singing Supremes' songs. The kids would all assemble on the steps and then one would go to the ground and sing and put on a show. And everybody would stand around and cheer them on. And next door to us was a nursing home. And so we would try to sing loud enough so that they could hear us. And then they'd come to the window and they'd lean out. And it would just be a wonderful feeling to know that we were bringing some kind of joy to these people. It's a wonderful memory. I like that."

- Donna Summer, When I Was A Girl, March 3, 2003

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