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Donna Summer

Last update: May 20, 2018

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

 


[MAY 20] Happy Sunday all!  First let me attend to some personal business - my MS Walk was yesterday. It was cold and wet, but we raised some nice money thanks to your generosity. And for the first year, I was not the only one in Donna gear. I had to load a hat to a teammate and it just happened to be a Donna Summer one. (She's going to go see the musical later this week too!)  I have goodies to send to all my donors and I will be working on that soon.  :-)

[MAY 20] On to the musical! I was there again on May 17 - and they have  some more merchandise! There is a keyring that is a blue tassel with a silver letter S. It reminds me  of the graduation hat tassels. And there are diva sunglasses! ($30). There is also a feather boa,  a mug , a shoulder bag, a hat, and a pouch. Still no sign of the merchandise being online yet, but it's still early days. I also noticed something about the show that I couldn't see from where I was sitting when I first saw it.  There is a LED sign that hangs over the audience probably about halfway back in the orchestra section. On it they identify where a particular scene is taking place - for example: Grant AME Church in Boston, Musicland Studios in Munich, etc. The only times I saw it say anything other than a location was right at the top of the show where it simply said "Summer" and later it identified the song White Boys as being from Hair.  It was a nice little feature, but not essential for following the story. I haven't been to the mezzanine yet so I don't know if they have a similar sign.

[MAY 20] Oh wait - stop the presses! Before I forget, the cast of Summer will be performing on Jimmy Fallon tomorrow night. If you can't catch the show, it will probably be on their website the next day. 

[MAY 20] Speaking of TV, Thalia (who is a co-producer of Summer: The Musical) was on the Wendy Williams Show the other day to promote the musical. You can watch that segment on YouTube.  (You can probably find the entire show online too, but everything before Thalia was just about the royal wedding.)

[MAY 20] The New York Times has a new article looking at disco musicals.  In it they admit that while critics are not fans of Summer: The Donna Summer Musical, audiences ARE! (When I was there Thursday, EVERYONE - that I cold see anyway - was up on their feet dancing for Last Dance!)

[MAY 20] In awards news, the Drama League announced it's winners the other day.  Summer did not pick up any trophies there which is not overly surprising. The Drama League Awards have a different structure than just about anything I have seen.  The fact that they have so many nominees with plays and musicals together and make and female together plus the fact that once a person wins, they are not eligible to be nominated ever again means that the Drama League Awards are not going to be easy to win. The Chita Rivera Awards are being handed out as I write this. So far they haven't reached any of the categories Summer is nominated for. And of course the Tonys are coming up on June 10. WAIT!! STOP THE PRESSES - they just announced the winner for  Outstanding Female Dancer in a Broadway Show - ARIANA DEBOSE!  And for Outstanding Choreography in a Broadway Show - SERGIO TRUJILLO! Congrats guys! You earned it!

[MAY 20] The grosses for the week ending 5/13 are out. Summer took in $1,125,078 - the best week it's had so far!

[MAY 20] Ariana DeBose (Disco Donna) has been busy. She's done an interview for BUILD series, and another one for Backstage.

[MAY 20] On to the real Donna Summer. Hot Stuff 2018 continues to climb the  Billboard Dance Club Play charts for the week of May 26, it moves from #19 to #15.  :-)

[MAY 20] Harpers Bazaar posted a slideshow of 10 iconic hairstyles that endure the test of time. Slide #1 is Donna's Once Upon A Time cover photo.  :-)

[MAY 20] Bruce Sudano fans - he's been live on his couch again.  :-) This one is called You Know What I Like.  (And check out the Johnnyswim hoodie - think he's a fan?  LOL)

[MAY 20] I think that brings us to YouTube.  Up first, Suecase Hall has made a fan video for Bad Girls to go with the new Original Hits CD.  Then we have a tribute video by Jesus, a Motown Medley video by Suecase Hall,  and a video for The Queen Is Back that has enough footage of Queen Elizabeth II to make me wonder how funny it would  be to hear her try to sing the song.  (Seriously - how ridiculously funny would that be?  LOL) And Stor Dubine's video for I Got Your Love.  (I have to tell you - I was thinking about this video after I saw the musical. The way they use LED screens with Donna's pic on them in some of the scenes reminds me so much of how Stor decorated cartoon Donna's house with her pictures. )

[MAY 13]  Happy Mother's Day to all the mothers out there! I guess Mother's Day is the best day to share this - Johnnyswim's new baby girl has a name now. She is Luna Bird Ramirez and she is adorable! I'm sure we can all look forward to seeing her on tour with the family when she gets a little bigger.  :-)

[MAY 13] On to the news.  When I left you last week, Hot Stuff 2018 had debuted on the Billboard Dance Club Songs at #43 (week ending May 5).  For the week ending May 12, the song climbed to #31. And for those who have early access to chart info (or who found a sneaky back door into that info  lol), we see it climb again to #19 for the May 19 chart.  What can I say? Deejays LOVE Donna!!!

[MAY 13] In musical news, the grosses for the week of May 6 are out and Summer: The Donna Summer Musical is still holding its own.  :-)  It's still doing better than quite a few of the longer running Broadway Shows.

[MAY 13] If you are going to the musical and are looking for something to do afterwards, Bond 45 now hosts an after party after every performance of Summer: The Musical. Now if you are wondering how to get there from the theater - just look to your own 2 feet. Bond 45 is next door to the Lunt-Fontanne. :-) Just dance your way out of the aisles, out on to the street and into the restaurant!  LOL

[MAY 13] You can listen to book writer Colman Domingo talking about the musical on YouTube.  Among other things he talks about when it's like seeing audiences dancing and singing along.  :-)

[MAY 13] I think that brings us to YouTube. Later this week we mark the 6th anniversary of Donna leaving us. So I'm going to start off with one of my favorite clips ever because it really shows Donna's playful side, and I can't watch it without smiling.  It's Donna and Barry playing around with Could It Be Magic.  And another of my favorite clips is MacArthur Park from Live & More Encore - and that's because of my very happy memories of being there that night. (And yes I cheated on both clips since neither is actually on YouTube!  LOL) Moving on to some more serious clips, we have Suecase Hall's video for Netherlands, the audio for Omega Red (featuring Donna) on Angel Sand On My Feet  and Be Myself Again live (other favorites of mine),  the  amazing symphonic version of I Will Live For Love,  and because I feel like I need to leave you with something fun a stampyourfeet video for That's The Way It Is - how can you not smile at a bouncy song that features Donna's name in the lyrics.  :-)

[MAY 6] Greetings all and Happy Sunday.  Let me start off with the new Summer Fever Pick since I'm a few days late with it. This month practice shouting "more, more, more" as we celebrate Live & More. (Good god, I just realized that album is 40 years old this year.... How is that even possible?  LOL)

[MAY 6] I'm going to go a little out of order this week and start with Johnnyswim because they have 2 new releases out now. The first is their EP, Goodbye Road with Drew Holcomb & The Neighbors.  That just came out May 4 and is for sale at all the usual music places.  :-) The other release was a huge surprise that Amanda and Abner have been working on in secret for quite awhile now - 9 months to be exact.  The pair have welcomed a new baby girl into the family! So congrats to the Ramirez clan - she's adorable!

[MAY 6] On to Summer: The Donna Summer Musical! First up a little explanation - Ariana DeBose injured her ankle recently, so if you were at a show recently and saw her using a cane - that's why.  Now I think I mentioned last week that the Tony nominations were coming this week. Well they did and we have nominations for Diva Donna LaChanze for Best Performance by a Leading Actress in a musical, and another for Disco Donna Ariana DeBose for Best Performance by an actress in a Featured Role in a musical. Congrats to both!

[MAY 6] In the land of reviews, we have a new one written by a fan named David Messineo. It's a very good review (and a fair one!) that you may have seen on Facebook. I will warn you though that there are a few spoilers, so read it at your own risk if you haven't seen the show yet.  Now for those still smarting from the less than stellar reviews from main stream media, the Wall Street Journal says "Forget the Bad Reviews; Donna Summer Musical Is Doing Well On Broadway." In a nutshell, the article says that ticket sales are good, the show is a crowd pleaser,  Donna's global popularity is a draw for foreign tourists, and there hasn't been a musical to truly tap into the disco craze since Saturday Night Fever ran 20 years ago. If you want to read the article for yourself and find yourself stuck behind a pay wall - try clearing your browser cookies. (Or try a browser that you don't usually use.)

[MAY 6] Speaking of sales - Summer: The Musical grossed over $1 million opening week.  :-)  (The Wall Street Journal article says that they probably could have made even more money that week,  but they gave out quite a few free tickets for the opening night show.  You know the press all got in for free!  LOL) If you look at Playbill's website, you can see how Summer's grosses compare to the other shows currently on Broadway.  (Hint - if you click on any of the column headings - like "this week's gross" - you can reorder the list so you can make better comparisons.)

[MAY 6] And speaking of Playbill, their store has the first musical merchandise to be seen outside the theater. It's the opening night Playbill. It can be yours for $15 or for an extra $30 you can get it framed.

[MAY 6] Moving on to the real Donna Summer - guess what? We have some chart action!  For the week ending May 5, Hot Stuff 2018 debuts on the Billboard on the Dance Club Songs chart at #43!

[MAY 6] And we have release news too. On The Radio is coming out again - IN VINYL. Not just in any vinyl either. This will be pink swirl colored vinyl.  :-)

[MAY 6] I think that brings us to YouTube. In honor of the new Summer Fever Pick, let's do some live stuff from about that timeframe. So first up is the 1977 concert from Italy. Then we have what they are calling a commercial for Live & More, but it's actually 2 and a half minutes of clips from the Live & More concert.  Then we have MacArthur Park live in concert 1978, Heaven Knows live in 1978,  Last Dance live,  Donna in the studio working on the Live & More album (with some interview footage),  Mimi's Song from the Tonight Show,  and the TV commercial for the album as it aired on TV.

[APR 29] Happy Sunday all! Let's start with Summer: The Musical again.  We'll start with the one thing you are all wondering about - a cast album. Guess what? They are recording it tonight and tomorrow according to a tweet from LaChanze. So we shouldn't have to wait too long for it.  :-)

[APR 29] On to awards.... yes, there are some award nominations to talk about.  The Drama Desk Award nominations are out and LaChanze is up for best actress in a musical for Summer: The Donna Summer Musical. Those awards will be handed out  June 3.  Then we have the Chita Rivera Awards which honor dance on stage and screen.  Summer: The Donna Summer Musical picked up nominations for Sergio Trujillo for Outstanding Choreography in a Broadway Show, Summer: The Musical for Outstanding Ensemble in a Broadway Show, and Ariana DeBose for Outstanding Female Dancer in a Broadway Show.  Those awards will be handed out on May 20.  And then we will be looking to the Tony Award announcements on Tuesday, so stay tuned.  And of course - congrats to all the nominees!

[APR 29] This should make you smile. Both Whoopi Goldberg and Jimmy Fallon caught performances of Summer: The Musical last week and both mentioned the show (FAVORABLY!) on their talk shows. This was Whoopi at the end of The View the other day. And here is Jimmy Fallon having fun with Donna's songs (and glitter from the show  LOL) on the Tonight Show.

[APR 29] New York Theater Guide covered opening night at Summer and they have a bunch of red carpet photos.  They also have nice things to say about the show - they seem to have avoided that instant hatred of jukebox musicals.  LOL They also posted the House Capacity figures for Broadway shows.  For the week ending April 22 (the last week we have numbers for so far),  Summer: The Donna Summer Musical had the highest gains in attendance.  And of course, THAT means more than reviews - it's all about filling the seats.  :-) And on a side note, someone in NY checked the TKTS booth the other day to see if they has any tickets for Summer.  They did NOT.  :-)  Let me explain for those who don't know about the TKTS booth.  That is a place (well actually 2 places) in Manhattan where you can grab discounted tickets for that day's shows. You never know what they will have available until you get there because it all depends on which shows have unsold seats. If they had nothing for Summer, then that means that there were no unsold seats - which is a good thing.  :-)

[APR 29] Moving on from the musical to the Diva herself, Vogue has posted a slideshow of Donna's 11 best beauty looks.  (Let the fighting over the best wig begin!  LOL) And 39 years ago this week - Bad Girls was released.  Feel old now?  LOL

[APR 29] I almost forgot - the 40th anniversary Blu-Ray edition of Thank God It's Friday is due out Tuesday.  Extras are not listed and frankly, I don't expect there to be any extras.  They are only charging 8 or 9 dollars as of this writing which is less money than the regular DVD release.

[APR 29] I think that brings us to YouTube.  Let's have some fun! The musical picked up some dance award  nominations, so in honor of that, let's show off the Diva's dance moves.  So of course we have to start with the famous robot dance in I Feel Love.  Then we have the skirt flipping moves of Hot Stuff, the music video moves in Dinner With Gershwin and Love's About To Change My Heart, the young choreographed moved of Meglio Stasera, and my favorite clip ever - the playful and fun moves of Donna with Barry Manilow in Could It Be Magic.

[APR 24] Happy Tuesday all. I thought I'd jump in to share some of the opening night festivities.  And fair warning - there may be potential spoilers mixed in. We'll start with some video. First up is a compilation of show clips, then there is Facebook live from the red carpet, final bows after the show, red carpet celebs with questions for the cast, and Broadway World live at the red carpet.  Also check out  the twitter feed for Summer: The Donna Summer Musical for photos and videos from opening night. (They even have a clip of Bruce.)

[APR 24] Congrats to cast member Afra Hines who received the Gypsy Robe on opening night.  For those who don't know, the Gypsy Robe is a Broadway tradition where the member of the ensemble of a show who has the most Broadway credits receives a special robe to "bless" the show.  You can read the whole history of the tradition here.  Personally I think it's a pretty cool idea.   :-)  Here's an interesting bit of trivia for you - they are planning to change the name of the Gypsy Robe to something else for next season. So Summer: The Musical will be the last show to receive the robe under the name "Gypsy Robe."

[APR 24] The grosses for last week are out. You can see them on Broadway World. Sales are up! (Keep in mind that the cut off for these figures is April 22.  So those are all still figures for the previews.)

[APR 24]  Reviews are out.... there are a ton of them, and before you read any of them be aware that some may have spoilers.  I'm going to make it easy for me and link you to a Playbill page that has most of the reviews. And I will also give you this Broadway World link with highlights from the reviews. (And they will update that page as more come in, so return to it every so often.)  Now for the not so fun thing to report - a lot of the reviews are not good.  But don't let that put you off from seeing the show. There are a lot of things at play here - number one being that things that critics like and things that audiences like can be two VERY different things.  And frankly, what I am hearing from people who have been seeing the show is that they are having a GREAT time. The audiences have been extremely enthusiastic and really THAT'S the thing that will make a show a success.  Also, the vibe I am getting from the critics is that they are not overly fond of the whole jukebox biographical show genre anyway. (I might have gotten that impression from this opening quote from the New York Times review: "The biographical jukebox musical — of which “Jersey Boys” provides a shining example, thanks to all the Brylcreem — is the cockroach of Broadway."  LOL) But I would also like to point out that even though critics are not fond of the show overall, they do seem to like all 3 leading ladies (as well they should!) and there have been some positive nuggets in there as well.  My favorite quote comes from the Chicago Tribune: "But I’ve sat in enough shows to say this: On Thursday night at the Lunt-Fontanne, the audience did not just respond to the music, it craved it, and the feeling it hoped it might bring, with an intensity of a force I don’t recall ever seeing before. It wasn’t so much a desire for “Mamma Mia!”-style fun as something more existential, an elixir that might help you forget you’ll never have that recipe again."  In other words - this guy thinks that the audience will make this show a success.   :-)  And let me throw one more thing at you. I've been saying this all along here and there (probably mostly on Facebook) that the musical Wicked was hated by critics when it came out. And yet it found its audience and is still running over 10 years later. (Plus one of its leads picked up a Tony.) There is an article on The Daily Beast on exactly how such a critically panned show became a hit.  And what it boils down to is that it found its audience. So critics be damned - if Summer finds its audience, it will do well. :-)

[APR 22] Happy Earth Day all! We're gonna start with the musical again.  :-) As you know, tomorrow is the official opening day.  And that means we can expect to see reviews starting on Tuesday.  We can also expect to see lots of activity on the various social media pages: Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.  They will have coverage of the red carpet starting at 6. And I  would imaging the cast members may chime in as well during the day if they find a free moment or two.  :-)

[APR 22] Summer: The Donna Summer Musical has already picked up a couple of award nominations. The Drama League has announced their list of nominees and included are Summer for Outstanding Production of a Broadway or Off-Broadway Musical, and both Ariana DeBose and LaChanze for the Distinguished Performance Award. Now these awards are a bit different than you may be used to. In the case of the Distinguished Performer Award, there are about a billion nominees because it's not broken up by musical and play or by male and female. Also, once someone wins that award once - they can never win it again. So it's a big deal to win it.  :-) I know you will be wondering about other awards too - such as the Tonys.  The musical has officially opened up just in the nick of time to be eligible for this year.  Tony nominations are scheduled to be announced on May 1. Those are usually webcast early in the morning. Other key awards to look out for are the Drama Desk Awards.  Those nominees will be announced April 26 and we MAY have missed the cutoff for that.

[APR 22] When I left you last weekend, we were expecting the cast of Summer to appear on the Today Show. Well, they were on as scheduled and you can watch the clips online.  First up is She Works Hard For The Money.  In the play, this song is performed as Donna has realized she's been screwed by Casablanca and she is trying to regain control of her career.  It is sung by Diva Donna as Disco Donna acts out (through dance) the whole taking care of business thing. It will make sense when you see it. The other performance is MacArthur Park - this is where Donna gets to show off that she's a real singer and not just a disco queen.  It starts with Disco Donna and then Diva and Duckling join in.  (Can I just say here that I love the way the costumes are handles - all 3 Donnas in the same colors but in styles that are suitable for the ages they are playing.) On and speaking of the 3 Donnas - I recommend you follow them all on Instagram because you sometimes get some good behind the scenes stuff from them. You can find them at Storm Lever, Ariana DeBose and LaChanze. Ariana DeBose tends to post the most (she's also very active on Twitter),  but all 3 were pretty active when they did the Today Show.

[APR 22] We have articles! BroadwayBox.com has a list of questions the stars and creators of Summer would ask Donna if they could. The Boston Globe has a story about the show, Playbill has a short article with some new photos, Dance Magazine has an article on the show, and The Ensemblist has an article by Aurelia Michael who is the swing for Summer: The Musical. (For those who don't know, the a swing is an actor who covers multiple roles in a production.) We also have a video review from someone who attended the show.  I agreed with some of what he said, but not with everything. But hey, everyone is entitled to an opinion...... as long as it agrees with mine!  LOL  (Only kidding.) AND - I have a special surprise article for you. Ken Allan is back from a long sabbatical with his van of drag queens, and he has seen Summer: The Musical. So we have a new Ken's Korner that I have relegated to a separate page because there are SPOILERS. So if you haven't seen the show yet, read it at your own risk. You have been warned! Oh! And as I write this, Playbill just added another article called "& Things You Might Not Know About Donna Summer."  Let me take a quick peek.  OK - different people from the musical each state one thing they didn't know about Donna.  There's nothing there that will surprise a diehard fan and nothing that will spoil the musical for you.

[APR 22] I think that's all I have on the musical. Let's move on to the new compilation Summer; The Original Hits. It's out now and most people are finding that Target only has a few of their special copies with the extra tracks.  One of the posters on the forum picked up a copy and he very kindly photographed the CD and the booklet so you can see what it looks like.  You can see it here.

[APR 22]  I have a random interview for you from 2012. If you recall, Donna dis a duet with Darwin Hobbs for one of his albums, and after she passed he talked about her a little on the radio.

[APR 22] Let's move on to Bruce for a minute. He recently appeared on the Songcraft podcast. In it he talks about songwriting and Donna. You can listen to it here.

[APR 22] I think it's time to head over to YouTube.  What should we do this week? How about Donna as a blonde - the Mistaken Identity clips?  First up is a 1991 concert from Yokahama (the whole thing - and yes, the only clip here with actual blonde hair.  LOL.) Then we have the Work That Magic video,  Say A Little Prayer live in Brazil, a liveandmore video for Fred Astaire,  and Friends Unknown live.

[APR 22] And finally, I an still fundraising for Multiple Sclerosis. Thank you to all who have donated so far and for those who would still like to, it's never too late.  :-)  My link is here.

[APR 15]  Happy Sunday all! Let's start off with a special announcement for tomorrow morning. The cast of Summer: The Donna Summer Musical will be performing on NBC's Today Show twice. The first time will be at  approximately 8:50 AM and the second time will be in the 10 to 11 AM hour. Presumably the clips will show up later on the Today Show website.  While this is going on, cast member Afra Himes (ensemble, understudy for Disco Donna) will  take over @DonnaSummerBway Instagram stories for some behinds the scenes stuff.

[APR 15] As long as we are talking musical - Ariana DeBose (Disco Donna) did a Facebook live session where she answered a few questions. You can watch it here, but a couple of things that came out of her session were that there is definitely a cast album planned (but she doesn't now the exact timeline yet) and that they are still making changes here and there to the show. She doesn't say specifically what has changed - just that the changes that have been made so far are "smart" and they "clarify the story telling". At some point the show will be "frozen" and then no more changes will be made.  Storm Lever (Duckling Donna) did one for Instagram, but I can't find that one archived on the site anywhere, and unfortunately when I watched, my stream was so bad that I missed a lot.

[APR 15] The magazine "Where" (usually found at NYC hotels) is a guide to the stuff going on in New York for visitors looking for things to do. The April edition has Summer: The Musical on the cover.  Now if you don't happen to be hanging around any NYC hotels, you can see the magazine online here  - you can even download it if you want to.

[APR 15] The report for the weekly grosses on Broadway comes out on Mondays.  So last week's numbers won't be out until tomorrow. But the week ending 4/8 the show grossed 893,307 which is higher than it grossed the previous week( 569,993). Now of course, the first week wasn't a full week since the show didn't open until March 28. Tomorrow I will be eager to see a full week compared to another full week.  :-)  Number trackers can keep an eye on this link if you don't want to wait for my update.

[APR 15] BOSTON - guess what? You are having yet another Donna Summer Day.  :-) The 5th annual event is scheduled for June 22 in City Hall Square.  There will be the usual music and roller skating, but details on performances will be announced at a later date.  They always have members of Donna's family on hand for the festivities.  :-)

[APR 15] Disco fans, the BBC website has an article about why Disco should be taken seriously.

[APR 15] Johnnyswim fans - their new song, Ring The Bells is now available for sale at Amazon, iTunes and other music vendors. You can read a review of the song on AtwoodMagazine.com. Their upcoming EP, Goodbye Road with Drew Holcomb & The Neighbors,  is expected out May 4.

[APR 15] Bruce Sudano fans - he's Live On The Couch again with a new song called Anyway. You can see it on Facebook. (Hmmm  - maybe his next album should be "The Couch Sessions"?  LOL)

[APR 15] I think that brings us to YouTube.  Today I feel like going back to 1976.  So the clips we have are  Donna on American Bandstand for the first time (3 parts: Love To Love You, interview, Try Me), Spring Affair on Soul Train,  Could It Be Magic on German TV, and the Winter Melody video.

[APR 8]  Greetings all! Let's start off with Summer: The Donna Summer Musical again.  Ah, but where to start there... OK, first up there is a new (and BIG) ad up for the show on 42nd and Broadway.  Let's call that a prime selfie spot.  :-)  Other promotion is happening too. Playbill has an interview with LaChanze (Diva Donna) and Ariana Debose (Disco Donna) was on PBS's One On One With Steve Abubato the other night. If (like me) you were asleep when it aired, have no fear! It's already on YouTube.  And I am told that the cast of the show will be on NBC's Today Show on April 16.  Usually when a Broadway cast hits the morning shows, it means we get to see a performance. Now this is just a total guess, but I'm thinking they will either do MacArthur Park or Last Dance because all 3 Donnas get to shine together on both of those numbers.

[APR 8] In completely non-professional review news,  my aunt Rose went to the matinee of Summer: The Musical yesterday. She's not a diehard like us, she's just a casual fan. But when she left the theater, she emailed me one word to describe the show - "WHOA!" She enjoyed herself.  :-D  Oh and I saw on Facebook, there has been one update so far - but it's not to the show itself. It's to the drink menu. Now there is one called Hot Stuff.  (Yes, I find the drink menu entertaining.  LOL)

[APR 8] If you haven't been to TheDonnaSummerMusical.com in awhile, go check it out now. They've added tweets, cast bios, video from the press day and the tv ads. And I am sure they will keep adding things as the show gets rolling.  :-) Oh and if you are into tracking  the play's grosses, keep an eye on this link.  As I write this, they only show last week's numbers, but they should be updating again either tomorrow or Tuesday.

[APR 8] If you are in NY and are looking for discounted tickets to Summer: The Donna Summer Musical,  good news - they have announced their rush ticket policy. They will have $40 tickets available at the box office (as soon as it opens) for that day's performance. Patrons are limited to 2 tickets only. They are non-transferable, subject to availability, and they may only be partial-view seats.  So if you find yourself with a free evening sometime and want to take a chance - head over to the box office.

[APR 8] Moving on to the new compilation, Summer: The Original Hits. As I started  in a previous update - the extra mixes (and the song White Boys from Haare) are available on the deluxe digital release, and not on the CD.... UNLESS.... you go to Target. Yes, Target will have a special edition of the CD that includes the same tracks as the deluxe digital release.  So if you are a CD person, head to Target.

[APR 8] Moving on to Johnnyswim news. The duo has a new song coming out April 6 called Ring The Bells.  If you have Spotify you can presave the song now and hear it in its entirety.  If you don't do Spotify, you can hear a clip on Facebook.  You can even see the lyrics on Instagram.

[APR 8] Bruce Sudano fans, check out video of him at City Winery from March 14.  He sings It Ain't Cool, Analyzing  Stars, and With Angels On A Carousel.

[APR 8] I think that brings us to YouTube.  In honor of the 50th anniversary of Martin Luther King's assassination, let's start with the New Radio Millennium Mix of State Of Independence.  (It's the one that includes part of the I Have  A Dream speech.)  Then let's keep going with some classic mixes. We have I Feel Love (MAW 86th St. mix),  Last Dance (MAW short version), the Jr. Vasquez long DMC mix if Melody Of Love Love Is The Healer (Thunder dub),  and the studio 54 mix of Love On And On.

[APR 3]  Happy Tuesday all!  Let's call this the weekly update.  LOL  And II am going to start off with some stuff about Summer: The Donna Summer Musical again.  The first week's grosses are available and  the musical took in $568,993.  Both Playbill.com and BroadwayWorld.com track the numbers for anyone who wants to watch those. I'm no expert in Broadway sales figures, but I would love to be able to compare Summer's preview numbers with some other preview show numbers from past shows.  Then I could get a better idea of how much of a good start we are off to. Now both of those sites have comparisons with other currently running shows, and when you look at numbers to compare you have to remember that not all theaters are the same size so potential earnings are not the same. And the shows listed vary from limited engagement productions, to long running hits, to shows that may be on their way out. So if you scroll down the list of grosses on Playbill, you will find that it's not a level playing field.

[APR 3] We have a whole bunch of articles about Summer: The Musical's Broadway debut.  There is one from Broadway Direct, the Broadway Buzz on Broadway.com, a feature on the cast at Broadway World,  a Broadway Direct feature on the 3 Donnas, and an Out interview with Ariana DeBose (Disco Donna).

[APR 3] Speaking of Ariana DeBose, she tweeted that she will be on  One On One with Steve Adubato on PBS (NY channel 13) at 12:30 AM tonight.  She's also posted a video on Twitter of her getting ready to take the stage in Summer: The Musical.  (HEY! I just had a random thought.  All these years we diehard fans have groaned when  people have written "Donna SummerS" instead of "Donna Summer".  But now that we have the musical and there are 3 people playing the role, maybe "Donna SummerS" is correct? Or should it be "DonnaS Summer"?  LOL)

[APR 3] Moving on to the new hits collection, Summer: The Original Hits, 947wls.com has an article about the compilation and PR Newswire has the press release. Here's the interesting thing from the press release - the 2 remixes at the end of the album are exclusive to the DIGITAL deluxe edition.  So if you order the CD you won't get them.

[APR 3] I guess I can move on to Johnnyswim now. They will be touring with Needtobreathe this Summer/Fall.  Dates and ticket info are posted on Needtobreathe.com.

[APR 3] On to Youtube.  Let's start off with a song I have been returning many times since I saw the musical, and that's Be Myself Again.  Then we have My Life (which was listed in La Jolla's information on the musical, but which is also not currently in the show.) Then let's move to some rehearsal clips from Summer: The Musical. We have one video from Theatermania, one from Broadway.com, one from The Donna Summer Musical, and one from Tamsen Fadal TV.

[APR 3] And finally.... some of you saw this on Facebook already, but I am officially announcing my annual MS Walk!  (I have a couple of donations already - THANK YOU!)  As you know, I like to have out some little tokens of my appreciation to those who donate.  This year, I had some opens made up to commemorate the musical. AND when I was at the show the other night, I grabbed a few extra goodies to share with my top donors. The top 3 will get an official Summer: The Musical keyring, and the top 5 will get a copy of Playbill. If you donate multiple times before the walk (May 19), I will add up the total of your contributions to figure out your standing.  In the event of a tie, I will go by the date the donations were made and take the first high donors. Here's what the pens and keyrings look like:

 

pen

keyring

As always, donations made before this official posting are STILL eligible for goodies.  :-)  And as always, if I hit my goal of $517, I will walk in my Donna gear. (If I don't hit that goal, I am screwed because I don't know where my team shirt is!  LOL)

[APR 2] Pictures have been added to  the first part of my musical report.

[APR 2] The new Summer Fever Pick is up! This month it is Once Upon A Time.  (I'm getting there with the updates - slowly but surely, one piece at a time.  :-) )

[APR 1 no wait  APR 2 it's after midnight here] Part 2 of my show report is up now. It's the spoiler version so reader beware! I'm off to bed now!

[APR 1] This week's updates will be a bit weird - and not because it's April 1!  LOL  I saw the musical Friday and I am trying to work on my show report. (I wanted to do this yesterday but my boss made me work!  UGH!)  So, my report will be in 2 parts and I will have some images to add as well.  This is going to delay both the regular update and the changing of the Summer Fever Pick.  I will squeeze all of these in as I can.  Part 1 of my show report is now up.  Please excuse the typos, I consider that page a work in progress still. (In fact you will see a couple of place holders for pics and links there.)  I'm about to work on part 2 of my report. It's getting late but I'm hoping to have it tonight (fingers crossed!) It's sort of handwritten at the moment - I just have to decipher my own writing and type it up.

[MAR 24] Happy Saturday all!  This week we are starting off with a new compilation called Summer: The Original Hits due out April 20.  Now BEFORE you start yelling about yet another compilation - this one is a little different. It is specifically geared toward people (casual fans) who will see the musical but who may not be as fully  familiar with the original songs as we are. As such, the album is coming out just 3 days before the official opening date of April 23, and the tracks are all ones used in the musical. Let me give you the track list:  I Feel Love, Love To Love You, I Remember Yesterday, On My Honor, Faster And Faster, MacArthur Park, Heaven Knows, Enough Is Enough, Pandora's Box, On The Radio, I Love You, Bad Girls, She Works Hard For The Money, Unconditional Love, Hot Stuff Last Dance, and as a bonus on iTunes (probably for us diehards - and probably at Amazon if you look at the MP3 listing) they added the Rosabel Radio mix of MacArthur Park and the Ralph Rosario Eric Ibiza 2018 mix of Hot Stuff. That Hot Stuff mix is actually available to purchase now. Oh, and I forgot to mention that the MP3 version of the collection also includes White Boys from the German soundtrack to Haare. Now, EVERY one of those songs was used in the musical when it played La Jolla. There are a couple of other songs that were also used that UMG would have had to pay to include: Stamp Your Feet, The Queen Is Back, To Turn The Stone, Friends Unknown and My Life.  So this album should tide at least the casual fans over until a cast album is recorded.  :-) On a side note - I have tickets for the Friday performance this coming week, so I will have first hand reports to make on the next update.  :-)

[MAR 24] Speaking of the musical - I have finally seen the TV commercials on the air. A couple of nights this week I was watching The Late Show With Stephen Colbert and the ad ran shortly before midnight.  :-)  It was very exciting!  Also, I find myself being followed all over the internet by ads for Summer: The Musical which on the one hand tells me that I really should clear my cookies and history more often. But on the other hand, I do get a kick out of seeing those ads.  LOL

[MAR 24] There is a new non-profit organization called The Songstress Hall Of Fame. They took to Twitter to announce the following inductees:  Adele, Cher, Aretha, Loretta Lynn, Dolly Parton, Katy Perry, Linda Ronstadt, Diana Ross, Barbra, Tina Turner, Dionne Warwick and of course DONNA SUMMER.  :-)

[MAR 24] Fan club fans - Tom Gilliam is looking for some help. He's been funding the Fan Club out of his own pocket since 1986. It's been getting more expensive as time has gone by so now Tom has a GoFundMe to help raise money to pay for upgrades and updates to the fan club site software, etc. If you would like to contribute, the link is right here.

[MAR 24] Let's move on to Johnnyswim. Guess what? They are hitting the road again! (Which is absolutely NO surprise to anyone who follows Johnnyswim.  They do love the road!  LOL)  Let me give you the link to the Facebook video where they teased the announcement of the dates. (You want watch that because Joaquin  makes a guest appearance in that.  LOL) Then the following day they listed cities and dates in another video. They've got shows almost every day from August 10 to October 7 all over the USA. If they are coming to your city, grab some tickets when they become available. Johnnyswim puts on a GREAT show!

[MAR 24] In Bruce Sudano news, TasteOfCountry.com listed their "10 Disco-Country Songs We Can't Stop Dancing To." They included Starting Over Again which as you all know was written by Bruce and Donna. (And it's always fun to hear Bruce talk about how Donna contributed to that song.  LOL)

[MAR 24] I think that brings us to YouTube.  Let's start with Donna doing Starting over Again on the Tonight Show.  Then we have a stampyourfeet video for A Song For You/How Great Thou Art, another stampyourfeet video for Let It Be, Worth The Wait live,  Any Way At All on The Tonight Show, and Heaven's Just A Whisper Away live at the Apollo.

[MAR 17] Happy St. Patrick's Day all!  So you know we have to start with the musical again. (Can you believe it's opening in just a couple of weeks?) First up is an article in Broadway News explaining why the cast is predominantly female - including some women who play male roles. (Short answer - to create more roles for women on Broadway and to honor Donna's "central mission" of female empowerment. )

[MAR 17] We also have 2 new TV commercials for Summer: The Donna Summer Musical.  Now I haven't seen them on TV yet - but that may be because I'm not watching the right channels lately.  Neither ad says much about the show - but that's in line with other musical ads I have seen lately.  Here is the first ad, and here is the second.

[MAR 17] CaribbeanLifeNews.com was at the March 8 preview of Summer: The Donna Summer Musical.  There is an article, but it talks more about Donna than about the musical. It even explains what happened with that sitcom Donna was talking about making  around 1989 or so. (I think she mentioned it in her interview with Arsenio Hall if I recall.)

[MAR 17] Moving on to the land of remixes - our own Summer2k (who now uses the name DJ Moch) got his hands on the original stems for Bad Girls and has used them to build his Epic 12" Disco Remix.  This is not your typical fan mix where the mixer has to work with or around what was already there. He got all the separate pieces so he could do anything he wanted to with them - like the pros get to.  It's amazing - go check it out! :-)  I also want to mention that DJ Moch has said that he did this mix as "a tribute to Donna and her amazing musical legacy." He also revisited his old One Of A Kind mix and incorporated some of the new vocals that turned up in the new John Morales mix.

[MAR 17] The Guardian recently posted an article called, "Readers recommend playlist: Songs with sudden changes."  In the Dance section of the playlist you will spot a familiar diva with On The Radio.

[MAR 17]  In the land of auctions, one of Donna's old Casablanca contracts was up for auction late last year.  It didn't sell (probably because none of US knew about it then) but you can still see the listing with a couple of pages.

[MAR 17] Bruce Sudano fans - he's posted another video from his recent concert. This one is the end of Ball Of Confusion where Bruce is joined by Pepe Cardona (froma Alive N Kickin'), Eddie Hokenson (from the Brooklyn Dreams) and of course Randy Mitchell from The Candyman Band and from Donna's band.) At the moment, Bruce is hanging around Brooklyn while he records some new tracks.  :-)

[MAR 17] I think that brings us to YouTube.  Let's start off with another DJ Moch mix. This one is Netherlands - Donna vs. Dan Fogelberg. Then we have Donna's interview on The Arsenio Hall Show. (Yes, I remembered correctly - this is the interview where she talks about the sitcom.) Now let's just go into YouTube freefall and see what comesup. We have a 2004 UK interview plugging The Journey,  Nathan's 2008 tour video,  and his clip of Donna singing La Dolce Vita on a plane in 2009., a fan video for Adonai, and another one for Valley Of The Moon.  And then just for fun, let's bring back the clip of Donna with Barry Manilow fooling around with Could It Be Magic.  :-)

[MAR 11] Greetings all! Well, you know we have to start with Summer: The Donna Summer Musical.  As you probably know, the show is currently in rehearsal and the press was in to do a little filming recently.  So you will want to check out this short clip on YouTube with a bit of the music.  Then there is a video at BroadwayWorld.com with interviews with various people associated with the production - even Bruce. (If you use an ad blocker, you may have to turn it off to get the video to play.) Playbill.com has photos from the rehearsal,  and Theatermania.com has video of MacArthur Park.

[MAR 11] in remix news, John Morales has reworked the MacArthur Park Suite.  You can hear it as part of the John Morales M&M mix starting at about 27:30.  (Sorry - there are some vocal watermarks over the track here and there that are pretty distracting.) Oh, and I left out the best part - EXTRA vocals in One Of A Kind!  :-) Crack open that vault!  LOL

[MAR 11] Moving on you Bruce - as you know he has a couple of recent performances including a headlining event where he sneaked in a couple of surprises.  Some of those  have made it to his Facebook page.  :-)  He's got the new song Forbidden Fruit with Dina Regine, the new song Walking Down The Road with Mike Montali, and the not quite so new song Bad Girls with Eddie Hokenson.  :-)

[MAR 11] I think that brings us to YouTube.  And since MacArthur Park has popped up a couple of times in the news this week, let's start with that.  This version is live at the Today Show in 1999. Then we have She Works Hard For The Money live in 2008,  and Friends Unknown from some TV appearance.  Then let's do a couple of deep cuts - Freedom, a clip of the unreleased song Addiction,  a clip of another unreleased song, Half The Battle, and the unreleased Ordinary Girl song, Begin Again.

[MAR 4] Happy Oscar Sunday all! It's a new month so it's time for the new Summer Fever Pick. This month, I Remember Yesterday.

[MAR 4] Since it's Oscar night, let's start with some movie news. Thank God It's Friday is coming out on Blu-Ray as a special 40th anniversary edition on May 1.  You can pre-order now at places like Amazon. It looks like it's just the film with no extras. The disc is being put out by Mill Creek Entertainment, and you can see full details on the release there.

[MAR 4] Moving on to the musical - the box office for the Lunt-Fontanne Theatre is now open! So if you are in NYC and still need tickets, you can just stop off at the theater and get tickets while admiring Donna on the marquee!  And if you head to Instagram, you can see a couple of pics from rehearsals.

[MAR 4] Moving on to Quincy Jones. No he hasn't said anything new about Donna, Michael Jackson, or anyone else he talked about in recent interviews.  What he has done is apologize for his recent "wordvomit" after an intervention from his family. Apparently his daughters took him aside and told him to cool it, and he's taken that to heart.

[MAR 4] Bruce fans - don't forget he's playing City Vineyard in NYC on Tuesday. If you are in the area, stop in and enjoy the show!

[MAR 4] I think that brings us to YouTube. Since it's Oscar night - let's do some movie music.  Let's start with Donna's 2 appearances on the Oscar telecast singing Papa Can You Hear Me (originally sung by Barbra Streisand in the movie Yentl) and Last Dance (from Thank God It's Friday).  And, of course, Paul Jabara picked up the Oscar for writing Last Dance.  Then we have Down Deep Inside (Theme From The Deep), The Power Of One (from Pokemon 2000),  Whenever There Is Love (from Daylight),  Romeo (from Flashdance),  Highway Runner from Fast Times At Ridgemont High), On The Radio (from Little Foxes), and Hot Stuff (from The Full Monty).

 

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[MAY 20]

Do you have a favorite drag impersonation of you?

"Oh, God! (laughs) I don't think there can be just one because there have been so many of them. We did a concert about four years ago and it wasn't even in one of the big cities, but it was a pretty large concert and the whole first two rows were entirely in drag as me."

- Donna Summer, Watermark, November 2003

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