Diana Exclusive Interview With Ciara Jones With The Donna Summer Musical

March 3, 2022

SUMMER: The Donna Summer Musical

The Musical premieres at the Fisher Theatre, March 8 – 20, 2022

By: Diana Brang-Scott

LaDonna Adrian Gaines better known as Donna Summer was born New Year’s Eve in 1948 and rose to fame as an American singer, songwriter, and actress. Bust out your dancing shoes because you’re going to boogie on down as this musical takes you on an epic journey of her life.

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.

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.

I had the pleasure of speaking with Michigan’s own Ciara Jones. Ciara was born and raised in West Bloomfield and plays multiple roles in SUMMER she plays young Dara, Amanda and is part of the ensemble. Both her parents still live locally and are so excited for her to be returning home with the show. “My parents have been so supportive of my journey, they put me in dance classes when I was very young, and exposed me to live performances, they took me to see my first musical at the Fisher Theatre when I was just in Kindergarten. It is so exciting that now as an adult I will get to perform on that same stage.”

I asked Ciara to tell me about the story of the SUMMER she said, “The show looks at Donna Summers life over her lifetime. It has three women who play Donna at different stages of her life, you see her as a young girl dancing in her living room, then as a young woman who writes songs and becomes a sexy disco diva, and finally you see an older Donna who is looking back reflecting on her life. This show is filled with dancing and music it’s a roller coaster of fun.”

With 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. I asked Ciara what the audience can expect to see with sets and costumes? She said, “We have this incredible white disco floor and different color lights are reflecting off it, oh and so much sequence, there is big hair everywhere. We are taking you back to the 70s. The Donna’s have spectacular costumes, but I also really love mine. I have a purple jumpsuit that is just fierce, there are so many incredible costumes in this show, some of us change costumes 12 times.”

I asked Ciara what she thought the audience would be talking about on their drive home after seeing this show? She said, “Everyone is going to walk away feeling connected to something. I think some people will be blown away by the Donna’s performances, all three of them are so strong. Some people will leave talking about the ensemble and all their costumes and dancing. Others will leave talking about the incredible music in the show. It all depends on what the audience is willing to receive, but I know they will be blow away by a lot.”

Rock and Roll Hall of Famer Donna Summer amassed a total of 42 hit singles on the US Billboard Hot 100 in her lifetime, with 14 of those reaching the Top 10. I asked Ciara if she had a favorite number in the show? She said, “Yes it’s ‘Hot Stuff’! This number is towards the end of the show and its like full stop. The disco ball comes down, the lights are going crazy, que the confetti and it’s just stunning choreography. This scene is so much fun, we throw everything at you during this number it's fantastic.”

Come out and see Ciara and the entire cast of SUMMER: The Donna Summer Musical appearing March 8 - 20, 2022 at the Fisher Theatre in Detroit. Tickets are on sale now and can be purchased online at ticketmaster.com and in person at the Fisher Theatre Box Office.

For more information on Broadway In Detroit, subscriptions, group sales and more, please visit www.BroadwayInDetroit.com