Donna Summer may be the Queen of Disco, but if there was one thing that she proved at the
She certainly didn't fight the regal aspect of her title, making her entrance by rising through the body of the divan-shaped piano that was raised above the rest of the 17-piece band, a giant mirror ball inches above her head like a disco halo. Nor did she deny her audience the disco hits that they came for: ''Last Dance," ''On the Radio," ''Bad Girls," and ''No More Tears (Enough Is Enough)" were all present and accounted for, with ''Love to Love You Baby" and ''I Feel Love" (which were more studio-dependent productions) the only major absences.
Still, while Summer didn't attempt to present unfamiliar material (except for giving the spotlight to her husband and pianist Bruce Sudano for one of his adult contemporary songs), she showed her range with such well-chosen covers as ''Nights in White Satin," a medley that included ''The Man I Love" and Cab Calloway's ''Some of These Days," and a sweet version of Charlie Chaplin's ''Smile" supported only by the eight-piece string section.
All through the evening, Summer was in excellent, occasionally stunning, voice. That's achievement enough for any singer, but for someone who is, if you must get technical about it, 25 years past her prime, it was a revelation. Whether a matter of practice, conscientious care, or simply talent, her vocals were strong and clear, so much so that she was able to take on ''(You Make Me Feel Like) A Natural Woman" (half faithful, half discofied) and sidestep the negative comparisons that would dog just about anybody else who dared take on an Aretha Franklin signature number.
Many in the audience came to dance, but as in her heyday, Summer had plenty to offer those who just wanted to listen.