The queen of disco struts onto the Great White Way Monday night (April 23), as Summer: The Donna Summer Musical takes the Lunt-Fontanne Theatre stage for its opening night. The production follows Diva Donna (played by Tony-winning actress LaChanze) as she looks back at her life during a concert. A Bronx Tale and Hamilton standout Ariana DeBose and newcomer Storm Lever play younger versions of Summer, with the former portraying the musical titan during her chart-topping era, as Disco Donna.
To celebrate the show’s Broadway debut, DeBose curated a playlist of her favorite disco tracks. The selections include Summer’s biggest hits, as well as other staples from the height of disco.
“I Feel Love” by Donna Summer
This song is the anthem of the era. You hear its influences all through our show, but also in the work of nearly every major recording artist that has come after this dynamic duo, Donna and Giorgio Moroder.
“Love to Love You Baby” by Donna Summer
The song that started it all! This song is so fierce even Queen Bey sampled it! Summer gives you 100 minutes of ferocity, that I can tell you!
“You Make Me Feel (Mighty Real)” by Sylvester
The ladies of Summer keep it mighty real for you the entire evening!
“Dim All the Lights” by Donna Summer
I just love this song! We really capture the slower vibe of this tune in our show. I also love that it has more of an emotional, melancholy edge to it. It’s not just about the dance.
“MacAurthur Park” by Donna Summer
This song definitely brings the drama. She left her cake out in the rain — and she’ll never have that recipe again. Oh no!
“Ring My Bell” by Anita Ward
I’m gaga over so many of the ladies of disco. Anita’s vocals bring the funk. I have to say: this lyric runs through my head the first time Donna meets her future husband, Bruce Sudano.
“Canned Heat” by Jamiroquai
I am obsessed with his version of this tune! Disco Donna takes you to Studio 54 in our little skit, and the boogie is for real! I have canned heat in my heels, no lie.
“Boogie Oogie Oogie” by A Taste of Honey
We literally ‘boogie oogie oogie’ every night till we just can’t boogie no more. It’s a blast!
“Disco Circus” by Martin Circus
One of the best disco tracks ever.
“There’s No Business Like Show Business (Disco Version)” by Ethel Merman
I would say the mix of Ethel and disco is basically the same as Donna on Broadway — it’s amazing!
“I Love the Night Life” by Alicia Bridges
It just feels right. All of my disco queens that come to see us do indeed love the nightlife!
“Don’t Leave Me This Way” by Thelma Houston
We’ve all felt this way at one point or another; I dare say Donna did.
“Your Love Is a Life Saver” by Gayle Adams
The horns in this tune take me there! I dance the night away to this one!
“I’m Coming Out” by Diana Ross
This one is more for me.
“Stomp” by Brothers Johnson
This groove is one of the sexiest lines ever! And that patter chorus, just yes!