Summer: The Donna Summer Musical Takeaway

November 29, 2021

Summer: The Donna Summer Musical Takeaway


Summer: The Donna Summer Musical Broadway sensation transformed Downtown Utica into a disco-era phenomenon.

Billed as frothy, bold, and often poignant, the Des McAnuff – directed musical showcased Donna Summer’s rise from a young, self-conscious Boston girl to the disco diva we’ve come to know. The performance hit all the right spots, achieving near Broadway grace.

Here are a few takeaways from the musical that brought Central New Yorkers out of their seats and disco-dancing well into the evening.

Bring on the Sequins:

Extravagant furs, shimmering sequins, and over the top glam define the Queen of Disco. Guests took her style to the theatre attired in sequin dresses and tops, glitter shirts, faux fur jackets, and, for one fabulous party, red sequin hot pants.

A Swell of Blue:

Summer’s style shifts from schoolgirl getups to mid-’60s jumpsuits to the sparkling, custom-beaded disco queen pieces. Yet, through it all there was one color that stood out – a deep Walton blue. From the backdrop to the lights to the furs, sequins, and even Summer’s mother’s cardigan sweater, blue was all around, leaving the audience to wonder the meaning. Was blue Summer’s favorite color? Was it intended to symbolize her depression, or her love for the “little blue pills” she references in the show?

Another Place and Time:

So much of Summer’s story reflected today’s society and culture. Dialogue on gender bias and equal pay brought the audience to their feet in applause on two occasions – showing that the right to equality continues to be an important issue all these years later.

Love To Love You Baby:

Summer was the voice of a powerful cultural movement in America. She empowered African American femininity, and became the figurehead of gay club life. The distinctive sound of her dance music  combined with her powerful voice was unmistakably influential on many disco-era artists that followed in her platforms.

Ahh, It’s so good, it’s so good:
This musical should have come with a ‘buckle up” warning as it seemed to surpass speed limits. The rotation of cast members and tempo of the music kept the audience well-engaged throughout the 100-minute show. Every note and lyric landed perfectly on their ears, sparking distant memories and re-living a special time in their lives.

Its Comes Back To Family:

While the music icon recorded hit records and traveled the world, she never lost sight of the value and importance of family. From the beginning of her career until the end, her  family’s love and support became the most important part of her life. Audience member Jamie Amerosa-Sheehy left the show with family on her mind.

“The best takeaway was that no matter what went on, her family never gave up on her,  and that’s what we all want family to boil down to, isn’t it?”


Written by: T.K.Millo



View All News Listings