After reading “Eclipse of the Heart”, producers asked Henry to create a concept for a musical featuring the music of Donna Summer, to be pitched to Donna directly. Henry’s desire was to create a show that was not a jukebox musical about a disco queen, but instead something more moving and powerful that could stand up on it’s own, with or without the music. Donna’s associates felt that she would be thrilled with the idea. “MACARTHUR PARK” is the result. The musical is about a unique relationship between an old woman and a young 12 year old purse snatcher that she takes under her wing and tries to inspire on to a better life. It’s a story of redemption and forgiveness, and about two people from two different worlds realizing how much they truly need each other. Each of Donna’s legendary songs, and some of her lesser known gems, are woven into the story and move the plot along to it’s dramatic conclusion. When the script was completed and pitched to Donna, she was elated, and with tears in her eyes, told Henry: “You’re the one I prayed about. This is the show I was dreaming of for my music!” Sadly, soon after that, Donna Summer passed away, before any plans for a production could be made. The producers who asked for the show are no longer in the picture, but Henry owns the rights to the book of the musical, as nothing was ever signed. There are two possible avenues for the future of this show: 1) Find new producers to continue on with the show using Donna Summer’s music; or 2) to turn the book over to another composer to create original music for the show. As it was written as a show that could easily stand up on it’s own, (honoring the music of Donna Summer, but not being dependent upon it), the book, as it stands, should be quite attractive to another composer, such as Allee Willis, who composed the award winning musical “The Color Purple”. And because the show is about an African American family and incorporates issues of the history of race relations into the show, this also might be a very attractive project to a producer such as Oprah Winfrey.
WGA Registration #: 1284146