//SUMMER: The Donna Summer Musical premieres in Valdosta

SUMMER: The Donna Summer Musical premieres in Valdosta

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(l to r) Brittny Smith (“Diva Donna”), Charis Gullage (“Disco Donna”), Amahri Edwards-Jones (“Duckling Donna”) and the ensemble of SUMMER. Photo by Nick Gould

The North American Tour of SUMMER: The Donna Summer Musical casting has been announced and premieres in Valdosta at the Mathis City Auditorium.

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Casting has been announced for the North American Tour of SUMMER: The Donna Summer Musical, making its premiere engagement in Valdosta at Mathis City Auditorium on January 27, 7:30 p.m., with the pre-show dinner beginning at 6 p.m. To purchase tickets to the show or dinner please visit turnercenter.org or call Turner Center for the Arts at 229-247-2787.

The three actresses that share the role of musical icon Donna Summer are Brittny Smith as “Diva Donna,” Charis Gullage as “Disco Donna” and Amahri Edwards-Jones as “Duckling Donna.”

(l to r) Charis Gullage, Amahri Edwards-Jones and Brittny Smith. Photo by Nick Gould Photography.

The cast of SUMMER also includes Porter Lee Anderson III as “Andrew Gaines,” John Guaragna as “Bruce Sudano,” and Christopher Lewis as “Neil Bogart.” The ensemble is comprised of Robert Ayala, Layla Brent-Tompkins, Mia Davidson, Kayleigh Hegarty, Ciara Jones, Lily Kren, Marisel Lopez, Diane Meck, Francisco Risso, Lathan A. Roberts, Nissi Shalome, David Tanciar, Meridien Terrell, Emilee Theno, Stephen Vaught, Lamont Whitaker and Aubrey Young.

SUMMER features a book by Tony Award® nominee Colman Domingo, Robert Cary and Tony Award® winner Des McAnuff, with songs by Donna Summer, Giorgio Moroder, Paul Jabara and others. This new touring production is directed by Lauren L. Sobon and choreographed by Natalie Caruncho, based on the original direction by Tony Award® winner Des McAnuff and original choreography by Tony Award® winner Sergio Trujillo. Associate choreographer is Angelica Beliard.

Musical Supervision is by JP Meyer, Music Director is Erika R. Gamez, tour scenic design by Robert Andrew Kovach, based on the original scenic design by Tony Award® nominee Robert Brill, costumes by Tony Award® winner Paul Tazewell, lighting by Russell A. Thompson, sound by David Temby, projections by Chris McCleary. This tour is produced by APEX Touring.

Tickets for SUMMER are available online at turnercenter.org, by calling 229-247-2787 or at the Turner Center for the Arts main building, 527 N. Patterson St., Valdosta, Ga.

She was a girl from Boston with a voice from heaven, who shot through the stars from gospel choir to dance floor diva. But what the world didn’t know was how Donna Summer risked it all to break through barriers, becoming the icon of an era and the inspiration for every music diva who followed. With a score featuring more than 20 of Summer’s classic hits including “Love to Love You Baby,” “Bad Girls” and “Hot Stuff,” this electric experience is a moving tribute to the voice of a generation.

KEY CAST AND CREATIVE BIOS
Brittny Smith (Diva Donna) Theatrical credits include: Dreamgirls (Asia Tour), Step Afrika! (National/International tour) and regional productions of The Marvelous Wonderettes, The Color Purple and Chicago. TV/film: BET, Kraft, Stomp The Yard 2. Recording artist with Musicworld Entertainment/Matthew Knowles.

Charis Gullage (Disco Donna) Theatrical credits include: Holiday Inn (Linda), A Bronx Tale (Jane), Grease (Frenchy), Ragtime (Sarah), The Wiz (Dorothy), Sister Act and many more. Ms. Gullage performed with Beyoncé at the Superbowl XLVII Halftime Show.

Amahri Edwards-Jones (Duckling Donna) Theatrical credits include: Freaky Friday, Chicago, Mamma Mia!, Matilda, She Loves Me as well as dance and vocal performances on stages across the United States.

LAUREN L. SOBON (Director) has produced, directed, choreographed or cast over 120 productions in her 30-year career. Recent credits include Associate Producer for the 2020 national tour of Chicago, Artistic Producer/Casting Director for the 2020 national tour of Finding Neverland, 2019 international and 2018/19 national tours of The Wizard of Oz as well as the 2017 national tour of Pippin, the Musical. She was the Director and Artistic Producer for the 2016 national tour of Million Dollar Quartet, and Choreographer and Associate Producer for 2014 national tour Fiddler on the Roof. Additional national touring producing/casting credits: Seven Brides for Seven Brothers, All Shook Up. Recent regional directing / choreography credits: Million Dollar Quartet, Honky Tonk Angels, Nunsense, Descendants, High School Musical, Shrek, A Christmas Carol, A Wonderful Life, How To Succeed…, and The Sound of Music.

NATALIE CARUNCHO (Choreographer) is thrilled to be working on Summer. Natalie was in the original Broadway company of On Your Feet! as the Dance Captain/ Swing. Subsequently, she has worked as the Associate Choreographer for the production, setting companies for the 1st National Tour, Holland, and London West End. She set On Your Feet! at the Broadway Palm & Dutch Apple Theatres. Favorite credits include: Flashdance (Associate Choreographer 2nd National Tour), In the Heights (Ensemble) and A Chorus Line (Diana Morales).

ANGELICA BELIARD (Associate Choreographer) is very excited to be working on Summer once more. Angelica was in the original Broadway company of Summer (Ensemble). Prior to, she made her Broadway debut with the company of On Your Feet! (Ensemble) and was last seen regionally in John Leguizamo’s new musical comedy Kiss My Aztec (Ensemble/Dance Captain). As an Afro-Latina, it is with immense pride and integrity to create art during such a fragile, but promising moment in time. Here’s to collaboration and expansion!

Website: https://thedonnasummermusical.com/
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