Following the recent news that a musical about Tina Turner is in development, with a planned opening in London in 2018, another soul music queen is to receive the musical treatment. A new show about disco queen Donna Summer has already held a workshop and performances are due to begin in November 2017.
A workshop for the as-yet untitled bio-musical was held in New York between June and early August, directed by Tony Award-winner Des McAnuff. The American-Canadian was the director of the original Broadway smash hit version of Jersey Boys and his previous credits include The Who‘s Tommy and Big River.
Disco-inspired choreography was by the Laurence Olivier Award-winning Canadian Sergio Trujillo, with actresses playing Summer at three different stages of her life. The much-loved singer and performer died of lung cancer at the age of 63 in 2012. The parts listed in the workshop’s character breakdown included Donna’s husband Bruce Sudano, her father Andrew Gaines, her younger sister Mary Ellen, youngest sister Dara and David Geffen, head of Geffen Records to which she was signed in the 1980s.
The workshop features more than 20 of Summer’s best-known songs, including her initial hit ‘Love To Love You Baby’ and ‘Bad Girls.’ The New York Times reports that the show is planned for a November premiere at La Jolla Playhouse, the celebrated not-for-profit, professional theatre on the campus of the University of California in San Diego.
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