Three actresses share the role of Summer, portraying her at different stages of her life. Storm Lever plays the young Donna, “Duckling Donna”; Ariana DeBose is the 1970s “Disco Donna”; and LaChanze is the diva herself. The chemistry of the three is so strong that folks in the aisles jumped up, and stomped their feet, and clapped their hands throughout the performance. Other critics may have not liked this jukebox musical, but they have missed the point: It captivates and entertains the audience.
Director Des McAnuff and choreographer Sergio Trujillo (both of whom brought us Jersey Boys) integrate song and dance while telling Summer’s story. Tunes like “Last Dance,” “Bad Girls,” “Hot Stuff,” and “No More Tears (Enough Is Enough)” are among the 23 songs interwoven into the story of the Disco Queen’s life.
LaChanze masterfully serves as a narrator for her life story. The talented trio of LaChanze, DeBose and Lever invigorates the audience through their stellar performances. The ensemble cast leads us through a joyous show.
If you want an entertaining, toe-tapping musical where you can dance in the aisles while clapping your hands, there is no doubt this is one for you and the whole family. Go see Summer.