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Summer: The Donna Summer Musical will close on Broadway on Dec. 30. A North American tour will launch in September 2019 and will play in cities across the U.S. and Canada, including Los Angeles; Rochester, New York; Nashville; West Palm Beach, Florida; and Washington, D.C.
By its closing date, Summer: The Donna Summer Musical will have played 27 previews and 289 regular performances. The production — starring LaChanze, Ariana DeBose and Storm Lever as three iterations of the late music icon — began previews March 28 and opened April 23 at New York’s Lunt-Fontanne Theatre.
LaChanze received a Tony Award nomination for leading actress in a musical for her performance as Diva Donna, and DeBose received a nod for featured actress in a musical as Disco Donna.
Back in June, LaChanze and DeBose opened up in an interview with The Hollywood Reporter about their respective roles in the jukebox bio-musical, stressing that Summer’s narrative feels particularly powerful in 2018 amid the #MeToo and Time’s Up movements.
“Donna’s experiences mean that much more because of the #MeToo movement and because of gender equality and because women are so much more in the forefront these days — and unapologetically so,” LaChanze said of playing the singer, who fought against sexism, sexual abuse and domestic violence throughout her life.
Added DeBose: “Even a year ago, I’m not sure that work like this would have made it on Broadway. But it feels amazing that there’s a place for this story right now.”
Despite mostly withering reviews, the show started out strong, opening with box office numbers just north of $1 million a week. However, grosses saw a quick fade after the first three months, dropping to below 50 percent capacity in the last two weeks, including the lucrative Thanksgiving period. Total grosses to date are $28.2 million, making recoupment before the closing date unlikely.
The end-of-year exit creates a plum vacancy at the Lunt-Fontanne, right by the heart of Times Square, making it likely that an incoming production will snap up that house to open before the April 25 cutoff date for 2019 Tony Awards eligibility.
David Rooney contributed to this report.
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