She was a girl from Boston with a voice from heaven, who shot through the stars from gospel choir to dance floor diva. But what the world didn’t know was how Donna Summer risked it all to break through barriers, becoming the icon of an era, and the inspiration for every music diva who followed. With a score featuring more than 20 of Summer’s classic hits including “Love to Love You, Baby;” “Bad Girls” and “Hot Stuff,” this electric experience is a moving tribute to the voice of a generation. This is the original Broadcast cast that will be touring various cities throughout 2020, with Toronto being the only Canadian stop.

The three actresses who play the role of Summer, are Tony Award winner LaChanze (The Color Purple, Once on This Island) as “Diva Donna,” Ariana DeBose (A Bronx Tale, Hamilton) as “Disco Donna” and Storm Lever (Freaky Friday) as “Duckling Donna.” Summer was once quoted as saying, “God made Adam and Eve, not Adam and Steve”, which is also reflected in stage production. As well, after becoming a born-again Christian, Summer allegedly referred to AIDS as, “a punishment for homosexuality,” which she denied saying.

As a queer biracial woman having to say this out loud, Debose took time to reflect on the deeply religious background that Summer was brought up in. Debose acknowledged that, “everyone can make mistakes, herself included, and that was one of the things that drew her to this role.”

Debose has had previous roles in Hairspray, Bring It On, and most recently, Hamilton. This is also not the first time she’s played one of her childhood idols. In 2013 in the production of Motown The Musical, she played the role of Mary Wilson, and was the understudy for Diana Ross. Now, Debose gets to play the most iconic period of Donna Summer’s life, Disco Donna, the one that made her a worldwide dance artist diva.

Summer: The Donna Summer Musical takes us through Donna Summer’s tumultuous life, tempestuous loves and mega-watt musical hits. Spend the night in her electrifying universe. 

Princess of Wales Theatre
300 King Street West, Toronto
ON, M5V 1J2
416.872.1212 or 1.800.461.3333


About the Author

Bryen Dunn is a freelance journalist with a focus on travel, lifestyle, entertainment and hospitality. He has an extensive portfolio of celebrity interviews with musicians, actors and other public personalities. He enjoys discovering delicious eats, tasting spirited treats, and being mesmerized by musical beats.