Ariana DeBose and company. (Photo: Joan Marcus)

“Summer: The Donna Summer Musical” will close on Broadway on Dec. 30, 2018.

The musical will have played 27 previews and 289 regular performances at the time of its closing at the Lunt-Fontanne Theatre. Though the musical was met with poor reviews, it originally found popular appeal, leading to million-dollar grosses, which have since fizzled.

“Summer” will launch a North American tour beginning Sept. 30, 2019, playing cities including Los Angeles, Nashville and Rochester.

The musical began performances March 28, 2018 and opened on April 23, 2018.

In the weeks leading up to the Tony Awards — the musical received two nominations for its leading actresses, LaChanze and Ariana DeBose — the musical posted several weeks of million-dollar grosses, with its highest week at $1.16 million at the end of May. However, the grosses slid post-Tonys, with the show bringing in $462,727 or 32 percent of its gross potential last week.

This is the latest in a string of shows to close after disappointing Thanksgiving week sales, including “Head Over Heels” and “Once on This Island.” “Summer” also performed on the NBC Thanksgiving Day Parade last week.

“Summer” was produced by Tommy Mottola and The Dodgers.



  1. When I first read mention in Back2Stonewall’s Newsletter just over a year ago that Donna Summer’s widower was attempting to produce a Broadway musical about the iconic multiple personality diva who, while alive, I could waffle emotions from love to hate. I am not a theater fan (freebie’s to see original ‘Angels in America’ were an exception), and abhor musicals. But I love Disco. Especially long play heavily orchestrated epics. ‘Love Trilogy’ was the perfect follow-up to the debut of Donna Summer’s ‘Love to Love you Baby’. It was 1976, I was a freshman at Stony Brook University, stripping and hustling at the Gaiety Male Burlesque in Times Square while being mentored by street savvy co-workers on drugs and underground clubs. I always thought ‘Once Upon a Time’ would translate well into a rock opera. ‘I Feel Love’ is the only Disco song to make Billboard’s top 100 records of ALL TIME! I loved my early Donna Summer. I even hung a banner over the forgettable judge’s name plaque my dorm was historically named for with ‘Donna Summer College’,with no flack from my disco curious co-eds at Stony Brook. Within a few years, I fell out of favor for young daring Donna trusting her mentor Giorgio Moroder, to follow his lead. “I Remember Yesterday” was a confusing mess. And then the Jet Magazine interview revealing her true feelings for her loyal gay fans. Last year, when I read the piece on her husband’s attempt to produce a musical tribute to his deceased wife who was in the category of Evita Perrone as dear and demonic, I thought it was a sweet gesture, but who would finance a musical featuring Disco that Broadway has never been kind to. I wrote my original thoughts on the project May16, 2017, motivated by the forever haunting memory that Donna Summer died on my birthday, May 17. I did not share my suspicion that her husband’s production would EVER come to fruition in last year’s blog, but left with a metaphor from “MacArthur’s Park”, leaving the cake out in the rain. One year later, and I am dumb struck and excited that not only did Mr.Summers pull it off, but cast 2 talented past Tony winners as the older Donnas, and my delight in hearing the young Donna, the one I loved, is nominated for a Tony, and she’s gay(?) It did not bomb as some would suspect; it’s a hit. I am happy to be wrong. 12/18/2019. Just got home from seeing the Donna Summer Broadway Musical, courtesy of my generous and thoughtful mother, luckily before Dec.30 closing and performed with orig’l Tony nominated cast. Traversing through today’s amusement park of Times Square to get to the Lunt-Fontanne Theater that was next door the Gaiety Male Burlesque, where I performed from 1976-1978, did not arouse any emotional memories as NYC is not the same forty years later. The audience at the Disco Broadway Musical was predominately tacky obnoxious heterosexual Caucasian, which incited my prejudice about the production before it even started. After 30min. of Donna Summer the Musical, I was no longer a fan. The story of her life was told and sold to the tacky obnoxious heterosexual Caucasian audience, not satisfactory to a gay man who followed her musical and celebrity career evolve like Madonna’s. I wanted and expected and projected what her music provoked in a disco, not in a civilized Broadway production. The saving grace was my prejudices for the Disco Donna actress Ariana DeBoise, outing herself before receiving a Tony nomination, and killing her role not as Donna, but as a extraordinary singer and dancer, always paired with a cross-dressed female during any full staged production numbers. Sorry for all the performers who dedicated themselves to this musical, but I can see why it was forced to close. Disco can only be experienced in a disco, or in my case, on my stereo in my home. So I bought the Broadway album to remember a serendipitous moment in my life. The Donna Summer. I danced in the best clubs in NYC recreationally& professionally from 1976-2004, wrote about my overextended addiction until I crashed&burned from the excesses of the lifestyle.Homo GoGo Man: a fairytale about a boy who grew up in discoland.