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Donna Summer

Last update: November 17,  2018

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[SUMMER: The Donna Summer Musical]

 

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[NOV 17] Greetings all and Happy Thanksgiving to my American friends Thursday. (To all my non-American friends - take the day off anyway. Tell your employers you are American for the day.  LOL)

[NOV 17] Let's start with Summer: The Donna Summer Musical. First up a scheduling note -  due to the holiday this week, there will be no performances on Thursday so the cast and crew can be with their families. There WILL be an extra performance Friday at 2 PM. So if you are in NYC and want to avoid the Black Friday crowds, go catch a show instead.  :-)

[NOV 17] In the world of grosses, Summer was up to $686,515 for the week of November 11.  It looks like that was a really good week for Broadway - most shows were up. I'm looking forward to seeing Monday's numbers to see if the snowstorm this weed has any effect.

[NOV 17] Don't forget that the company of Summer will be performing at the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade on Thursday sometime between 9 and 12.  (On a side note - it looks like Diana Ross and family will be performing at the parade too. I mention it only because I know there is quite an overlap in the Donna and Diana fan bases.) I am pretty sure that to see the Summer performance, you will have to tune in to NBC.  The non-Broadway things will be available through other outlets, but the Broadway stuff is an NBC exclusive.

[NOV 17]  The 2018 Broadway Carols For A Cure CD is now available for sale. It features songs by  many of the current Broadway casts - and sometimes they tweak the traditional songs so that they fit in with the style of their shows. It's a chance for them to have a little fun for a good cause. The cast of Summer provided the lead off track for this year's CD - Disco (Winter) Wonderland. Now this not something you can get at Amazon (yet) - you have to go to a place that sells Broadway stuff like Playbill or BroadwayCares, etc.

[NOV 17] Diva Donna, LaChanze was interviewed recently for Broadway Your Way.  She talks a little about the difference between the La Jolla and the Broadway productions of Summer, among other things. You can also check out a clip of her rendition of Friends Unknown on the Playbill website. And while we are talking about LaChanze - congrats are in order.  She has been cast in the upcoming world premiere of The Secret Life of Bees. That show starts previews May 12, opens June 13 and then has a limited engagement until July 7. It will run off-Broadway at the Linda Gross Theater on W 20th Street.  Now for the unknown ... I'm not 100% sure what this means for Summer: The Musical.  Either LaChanze will leave and they will have to recast the role. Or she will just take a leave of absence and return after the run of her new show.

[NOV 17] Bruce Sudano fans -  don't forget that he is on tour with Dan Navarro and Chas Sandford in what they call Threefer Madness. For dates and ticket info, check out Bruce's site - and if you go to one of the shows, make sure you say hi to him.  :-)

[NOV 17] I think that brings us to YouTube.  I'm going to start with Donna's live version of Smile.  That's the video I can share with everyone.  But there is a beautiful fan video that was just posted in one of the Donna groups on Facebook and unfortunately the link only works if you are logged into Facebook and a member of that group.  It's the same vocals you just heard in the YouTube link, but it's set to a video montage of some of the many times Donna smiled or laughed in concert, in interviews, whatever.  It's impossible to watch without smiling yourself.  :-) Moving on.... let's so Donna's cover of Superstar just because that started playing after Smile and I fell under that song's spell.  Next up is Donna on the Paul Anka TV special, Donna on Wayne Brady's show,  then an interview (with a lot of kidding around) with Eric Allen,  and finally Donna performing at the Nobel Peace Prize concert.

[NOV 10] Happy Saturday all!  Let's start with something time sensitive.  Summer: The Donna Summer Musical is running a social media contest. Share with them how much you love the musical on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter with the hashtag #SUMMERonVinyl and you will be entered to win a vinyl copy of the cast album. The contest ends November 14, so you just have a few days to enter.

[NOV 10] We have lots more musical news this week.  The cast will be making an appearance on the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade.  They have also been back in the studio recording. Storm Lever has a fairly long clip of her in the studio recording Last Dance with the other two Donnas. (They are heard, not seen - and it's acapella in case any of you remixers need something to play with. )  I think Ariana DeBose had an instagram story of them in the studio as well, but of course those stories go away after a time. No one has said what the recording is for, but I suspect they are prerecording vocals for the parade. (All the performers at the parade use prerecorded tracks.)

[NOV 10] Broadwaybox.com has 20 questions in 2 minutes with Storm Lever.  They didn't quite get to all the questions in the 2 minutes, so the remaining questions were put into a separate video on Instagram.

[NOV 10] Oh - I almost forgot to post the grosses! For the week ending Nov 4, the numbers were down a little to $569,903. That's not too surprising seeing that The Cher Show just started previews that same week.

[NOV 10] Moving on to Donna, On The Radio is STILL  rocking the iTunes Dance charts. It was at #6 when I looked just now - AND Love To Love You sneaked in there at #40.   :-)

[NOV 10] Facebook users may have seen this already. Long time fan Phil P has written to the US Postal Service to see about getting them to issue a Donna Summer stamp.  He received a letter back saying that they are considering the idea. All this means at this point is that the post office is thinking about it, but they aren't saying that they will actually do it. A few more letters might help them make up their minds.  ;-)  The criteria is posted here, and the contact address is here. Please note, they only accept suggestions sent in writing by US Mail. (No emails, etc.)  And if they do decide to honor Donna, it will take 2 to 3 years from the time they decide until we actually get the stamp - that's how long the planning and development take.  But hey, we are Donna Summer fans. We are used to needing patience.  :-)

[NOV 10] Bruce Sudano fans - check out his Live On The Couch #20 on Facebook. This one is called Shelter Island. He also posted a live video on Facebook from the Northeast Regional Folk Alliance.  It's about a half hour of Bruce performing live.

[NOV 10] Johnnyswim fans - great news! The duo is putting the finishing touches on their next album. They haven't mentioned a title yet, but Abner has said that they have "def given you guys a whole big chunk of ourselves on this one."  :-)

[NOV 10] I think that brings us to YouTube.  Let's check out some duets this week.  Let's start off with Heaven Knows from the Midnight Special, Donna with Seal on Unbreak My Heart, Crazy and On The Radio,  Donna with Joss Stone on Try A Little Tenderness, Donna with her sister Mary on No More Tears,  an audio only clip of Donna with Gene Simmons on Burning Up With Fever,  an audio  only clip of Donna with Darwin Hobbs on When I Look Up, an slideshow to Donna with Paul Jabara on Something's Missing,  and of course I can't leave out Donna and Barry Manilow live on Could It Be Magic.  :-) (There is an ad before that video starts.)

Could It Be Magic

[NOV 3] Greetings all! Can you believe it's November already?  And to my American friends, that means Tuesday is election day. Make sure you educate yourself on the issues and candidates in your areas and then get your butts out there and VOTE! Remember - you aren't allowed to complain about the results if you don't.  (And let's face it - there will ALWAYS be something to complain about - it's what we do best!  LOL) 

[NOV 3] And speaking of November - it's time for a new Summer Fever pick! This month we have the album that my cats almost approve of - Cats Without Claws.  (They like the Cats part - they disapprove of the without claws part.  LOL)

[NOV 3] In Chart news this week - On The Radio is STILL hanging around the top of the iTunes Dance charts. As I write this, it's at #5.  The Dance Collection also popped up briefly this week at #23 - although it's not there right this moment. The Queen never goes away.  :-)

[NOV 3] Fans of James Corden's Carpool Karaoke probably spotted a familiar song this week.  He had Barbra Streisand in the car with him, and the first song they sang to was Enough Is Enough.  :-)  If you've never seen Carpool Karaoke, go check it out. They are usually a lot of fun.  :-)

[NOV 3] Moving on to Summer: The Musical, if you are in NY tomorrow night - they have added an extra show at 7 PM Sunday November 4.

[NOV 3] Looking at the grosses for the week of October 28, they were down to $598,438.  But the majority of the shows running that week were down too.  I'm interested to see what happens as we go into the holidays.  Will Broadway sales in general be up because of people coming to town to see the holiday stuff, or will they be down because of competition from the holiday stuff? I'm looking forward to my Broadway education continuing!

[NOV 3] As you know the cast album for Summer is now available on vinyl. iHeart Radio had a little celebration of the vinyl release featuring an interview with the 3 Donna's.

[NOV 3] I think that brings us to YouTube. Let's do some clips related to the new Summer Fever Pick.  Let's start with Supernatural Love live on European TV, There Goes My Baby live on TV (with lots of sailors!), the Jellybean Benitez 12" mix of Eyes,  a fan video for Cats Without Claws,  Jandry's My Way Mix of It's Not The Way I'm Free from Soul Train,  and Forgive Me live on TV.

[OCT 27] Happy Saturday all! Let's start with Summer: The Donna Summer Musical.  The grosses for the week of October 21 were down a little bit to $683,585. But for better news - the vinyl version of the cast album is out now exclusively at Barnes & Noble. Check out the musical's Instagram page for a new video promoting the vinyl. (BTW it's a gorgeous gatefold cover - just like back in the day!  :-) ) Also check out the pages for LaChanze, Ariana DeBose, and Storm Lever while you are at it. They all had Instagram stories at one point this week promoting the vinyl release.  (Of course the trouble with Instagram stories are that they do go away...   :-(  )

[OCT 27] In other musical news, the firm Broadway Licensing has acquired the worldwide stock and amateur licensing rights to Summer. What that means is that that play is now available (or very soon will be) to summer stock, community theater groups, etc. 

[OCT 27] Bruce Sudano fans - catch him in LA Friday November 2 at 8:15 at his usual haunt - Genghis Cohen.  If you are in the neighborhood - go catch the show!   :-)

[OCT 27] I think that brings us to YouTube.  Let's see, it's almost Halloween - let's go with a costume theme (sort of). So first up is Donna with Prince Poppycock on Last Dance.  Then we have the Work That Magic video,  the Unconditional Love video, the entire 1980 TV special, and of course, She Works Hard For The Money.

[OCT 20] Happy Saturday all! We're going to start with Summer: The Donna Summer Musical again - which has just celebrated it's 200th performance.  :-)  Broadwaybox.com has posted a bunch of backstage photos in honor of the milestone.

[OCT 20]  Vinyl fans - mark your calendar. On October 26 you will be able to buy the cast album to Summer: The Musical on vinyl.  :-)

[OCT 20] Moving on to the grosses - for the week of October 14, grosses were up $113,989 to $690,916.  :-)

[OCT 20] Just a note for any of you going to see Summer: The Musical in the near future - this is the time of year the Broadway Shows start fundraising for Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS.  This means you will possibly have cast members collecting donations in the theater, and there will be special autographed items to buy with the proceeds going to Broadway Cares. With that in mind, Ariana DeBose has said that during this fundraiser, she will NOT be signing autographs at the stage door.  She will pose for pics and be her usual sweet self, but she won't give out any free autographs during the fundraising period because she is a big supporter of Broadway Cares. She wants you to BUY the autographed items instead.  And to that I say - you go girl!  :-) I haven't heard if the other cast members have the same plan, but don't be surprised if they do, and if they do - more power to them too.  :-)

[OCT 20] And speaking of Broadway Cares - usually every year they sell holiday ornaments and CDs to raise funds. Their Carols For A Cure cds feature the casts of various musicals that are playing in a given year singing Christmas carols or some sort of mashup of Christmas music plus the music of their show.  They have the 2018 cd available for preorder, but there is no track list yet so I don't know what/if Summer contributed. They also have the 2018 Collection Ornament available and it features the logos of most if not all of the shows that ran (or are still running) this year. Summer is on that one for sure.

[OCT 20] Congrats to Brooklyn Sudano! She posted a pic of herself on Instagram the other day and she is VERY pregnant.  I believe this will be Brooklyn's second child - but I'm not 100% sure because she's pretty private about her personal life.

[OCT 20] I think that brings us to YouTube.  I don't have a theme in mind this week so let me just jump in randomly and see where that leads me.  :-) First up The full Crayons concert from Jones Beach. (Holy cow - was that really a decade ago?) Next up is Donna performing Enough Is Enough with Westlife, then we have Donna on David Foster & Friends, Donna on the Jo Soares talk show from Brazil, Dim All The Lights live from 1995,  and finally, Donna on Oprah.

[OCT 14] Happy  Sunday all!  I guess we can start with the musical again. First up, there is a new ad for the show. Hopefully I'll catch it on TV one of these days. Looking at the grosses for the week of October 7, sales were down to $576,927. Ouch.  Here's hoping next week is better!

[OCT 14] Moving on to the real Donna, On The Radio is STILL  doing well on the iTunes Dance chart. As I write this, it's at #6. And in the land of old news, the NY Times has a review of Donna's 1979 show at Forest Hills posted in its archives. It might bring back memories for some of you. :-)

[OCT 14] Giorgio Moroder fans - he has announced his first ever live tour in Europe. The tour starts April 1 in Birmingham and ends May 22 in Paris.  For more info and tickets, check out Giorgio's website.

[OCT 14] Bruce Sudano fans, catch him Live On The Couch on Facebook with Things Are Changing.

[OCT 14] I think that brings us to YouTube. First up, a live performance of Worth The Wait,  a live ballad version of I Will Live For Love, an audio only clip of Dreamcatcher,  an audio clip of Are You Brave,  the rehearsal clip of I Don't Wanna Work That Hard,  and an audio clip of So This Is Lonely.

[OCT 7] Greetings all!  Let's start with the musical this week.  Grosses for the week of September 30 were down a little to $665,020. There is also a RUMOR (haven't heard it from any of the official sources yet) that they are working on a touring production of Summer: The Donna Summer Musical. :-)

[OCT 7] Diva Donna, Ariana DeBose, is in the October issue of Gay Times. They have a nice interview with here where she talks about being an out queer black woman, and of course about the musical. You can read the article here if you can't find a copy at your local newsstand.

[OCT 7] Bruce Sudano fans - he's Live From The Couch again on Facebook. This time it's a new song called The Mountain. ("Don't look at the mountain if you are reaching for the sky." "If you think too long you can talk yourself out of anything.")

[OCT 7] That brings us to YouTube I think. Let's make the theme, "stuff to make me forget about politics for an evening".  LOL  So let's start with Stamp Your Feet live on Letterman, a liveandmore video for Freedom, Love Is The Healer live on The View, an audio file of Begin Again, and The Impossible Dream live.

[SEP 30] Happy Sunday all! Tomorrow is a new month, so we have a new Summer Fever pick! This month She Works Hard For The Money.  :-)

[SEP 30]  Let's start with Summer: The Musical. For the week of September 23, grosses were down to $685,362.  :-(  I'm sure the numbers will come up again soon.

[SEP 30] The CT Post has a short interview with "Diva Donna" LaChanze in which she talks about her life and career in general.

[SEP 30] Moving on to the real Donna,  On The Radio is still rocking the iTunes Dance chart. Tonight it is at #6 which is the lowest I've seen it in weeks I think.  Who would have thought back when it came out that it would still be selling.  :-)

[SEP 30] And that brings us to YouTube.  Let's do some clips inspired by the new Summer Fever Pick. So we have Donna (and friends) performing She Works Hard For The Money at Disneyland,  Unconditional Love also at Disney, Woman live in Costa Mesa, a UK interview talking about filming the Unconditional Love video (among other things), and an audio only clip of Musical Youth (with a special guest vocal appearance by Donna) of Incommunicado.

[SEP 22] We also have the final episode of Ariana Debose's Hot Stuff vlog this week.  This week features more backstage shenanigans, some footage from Ariana's reading for 12 Angry Men,  and various members of the Summer crew showing off their dance moves.

[SEP 22] If you have SiriusXM, the OnBroadway channel has been playing She Works Hard For The Money from the cast album. I've heard it at least twice this past week or so and that's with me not having the radio on that much.  :-)

[SEP 22] Over on ITunes, On The Radio is still doing well on the Dance chart - as I write this it's #3.

[SEP 22] Bruce fans - check out his latest Facebook video. This is Bruce rehearsing for  a Crosby Stills Nash & Young radio tribute in Milan.

[SEP 22] I think that brings us to YouTube.  Let's do something a little different today. Let's focus on Donna and her paintings.  So first up is a news report on a San Diego exhibit of Donna's work,  Donna showing off her work on Regis & Kathie Lee,  Donna on Lifestyles Of The Rich & Famous,  and Donna Up Close,

[SEP 16] Happy Sunday all! Let's start off with Summer: The Musical. If you are planning to see the show this month - if you have the option, try to go September 26. The reason why is that the 7PM show is a special performance to benefit The Actor's Fund.  (If you don't know, the Actor's Fund provides assistance and resources to those who work in the performing arts.) So if you go that night, you can have a good time while helping people.

[SEP 16]  Moving on to the grosses for the week, Summer took in $749,340 for the week ending September 9, which is up  over $42000 from the previous week. It is one of only 6 shows with increases for that week! (even better - it was the second highest increase for the week.  :-) )

[SEP 16] We also have another episode of Ariana DeBose's vlog, Hot Stuff.  This week is packed full of backstage silliness with Desperate Donna, Storm Lever and company.  You also get to see the lift in action from below stage.

[SEP 16] Moving on to Donna - On The Radio is STILL hanging around the iTunes Top Dance albums chart. As I write this, it's back up to #4.

[SEP 16] I think that brings us to YouTube.  I think since we are celebrating the 40th anniversary of Live & More, we should do some clips related to that.  Let's start with the 2 minute promo for the album (with lots of clips from the show! Somebody needs to find the footage and release the whole thing!)  Then we have he actual commercial as it aired on TV. And then there is the full 1979 tv concert from Japan, MacArthur Park live, Mimi's Song from the Tonight Show, and Last Dance live.

[SEP 8] Greetings all!  I guess we can start with Summer: The Musical today.  Grosses for the week of September 2 are up to $706,901.  :-) The show is also al over the internet this week.  Jared Zirilli (who plays Bruce) is on the Broadwaysted podcast, Jenny Laroche (dance captain for Summer) has a video showing you how to do some of the popular dance moves you see on stage, and Ariana Debose is back with episode 7 of her vlog.  This episode features more behind the scenes shenanigans,  talk about her vacation and the injury she sustained before the Tonys,  cast members' favorite lines, and a rare appearance by LaChanze.  :-)

[SEP 8] Moving on to Donna, On The Radio is STILL hanging around on the iTunes Dance charts. As I write this it's #11 which I think is the lowest I've seen it in a long time.  And remix fans will want to check out this YouTube clip (audio only) for the Tom Moulton mix of Last Dance.  You will want to hear that one for sure.  :-)

[SEP 8] Bruce Sudano fans - as you know, Bruce did a live stream for Paste Music on Tuesday. That stream is available for you to watch on YouTube.  In it, Bruce preforms 3 songs - the new single, Forbidden Fruit, Walking Down The Road, and The Promise.  All of those are from Bruce's upcoming album, True.  It's an album of true stories about real lives and we can expect to see that out early next year.  :-)

[SEP 8] I think that brings us to YouTube. Let's do some interviews this week. We have On Time TV from 2008, Donna on  Johnny Carson from about 1978,  Donna on Oprah 1999, Donna with Rona Barrett in 1978,  and Donna on TVam from 1991. For something completely bizarre there is the Celebrity Ghost Box interview.  The interviewer tries to reach people who have passed on to the other realm and in this particular episode he tries to reach Donna. I'm no expert in the paranormal, but I think he managed to reach snippets of FM radio stations.  LOL And finally, since I am off to see Flashdance the musical tonight, here is the official video for Romeo which is sadly not in the stage production... sigh.

[SEP 2] Where did the summer go? How did we get to September already?  Well you know a new month means a new Summer Fever Pick, so this time we turn the spotlight on the Donna Summer album.

[SEP 2] Let me start with Bruce Sudano news since this is time sensitive.  On Tuesday September 4 at 2:30 EST, Bruce will be doing a live stream with Paste Music & Daytrotter.  He'll be playing some songs and answering some questions. Check out Bruce's announcement (and a little sample tune) on Bruce's Facebook page.

[SEP 2] Moving on to other news, I guess we can start with Summer: The Donna Summer Musical.  Grosses for the week of August 26 were down a little to $679,069 - which is not bad at all looking at everyone else's numbers. There were only 6 shows that were up for the week, and 22 whose grosses  dropped more than Summer's.  Also if you are looking for last minute deals to see Summer, check the TKTS booths in New York (or I think they even have an app now.) You can get last minute deals on various shows that way and Summer has ben one of the shows available at times.

[SEP 2] Moving on to Donna herself, On The Radio is STILL  doing well on the iTunes charts. As I write this, it's #2 on the Top 40 US Dance albums chart.

[SEP 2] Johnnyswim fans - don't forget the duo is still on tour through October. Seriously - if you have the chance to see them live - GO. They put on one heck of a show.  (I saw them last night and I'm still humming the tunes.  :-) )  Also, look for the September/October issue of Relevant Magazine - you will find Amanda and Abner right there on the cover!  (Or if you can't find it, just read it online here.) There is also a podcast that goes with it.

[SEP 2] I think that brings us to YouTube.  Let's looks at some clips that go with the Summer Fever Pick.  So let's start with the Love Is In Control video.  See if you can spot Amanda in it. (Hint: Look at Donna's belly.  LOL) Then we have The Woman In Me video, and State of Independence live. See if you can spot Mimi in that one. (Hint: You really cannot miss her!  LOL) Then there is State Of Independence from Solid Gold, a German interview piece with clips from the making of the State Of Independence video, and a short piece with the all star choir from the song. And finally, some of you may remember that Quincy did a rather uh, interesting interview awhile ago where (among other things) he said that Michael Jackson stole the bass line from State Of Independence for Billie Jean.  Here is a video comparing them. See what you think.

[SEP 2] And finally - I have a lot of stuff going on next weekend, so I might have to do the update early or it might end up being a little late. I'll have to play that by ear and see how it goes. So don't freak out if you don't see me here Sunday night.  :-)

 

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[NOV 17]

 "The richest environments I have ever been in have been the most culturally diverse. My own cultural influences are vast. I have been around the world and have seen a multitude of ethnic fusions. One of the many great things about America is that every day we have incredible opportunities to learn and to grow. For example, every time we go out to eat, we have choices - Indian curry, Chinese, sushi, lox and bagels, rice and beans, spaghetti, bratwurst, and thankfully, fried chicken. If only we could sample and taste things beyond our scope, surely we would find new and exciting possibilities to explore and appreciate."

- Donna Summer,  Ebony September, 2008

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