Lee Summers, a veteran performer having made his Broadway debut in the original production of Dreamgirls, continues as a voice in the American Musical Theater. His works have been presented at numerous New York and regional theatres such as The Milwaukee Repertory, The Arkansas Repertory Theatre, The Long Wharf Theatre, The Phoenix Theatre, Karamu Theatre, The Meadow Brook Theatre, The Madison Theatre, Theaterworks Palo Alto, The Triad Theatre, New World Stages, Urban Arts Theatre, AMAS Musical Theatre, Crossroads Theatre, RACCA's Seaport Salon, The Kirk Theatre, The Gramercy Theatre, Radio City Music Hall’s workshop spaces and many others.
A member of the Dramatists Guild, Summers' award-winning body of work as a writer, composer and lyricist has mainly introduced audiences to the contributions of outstanding African American artists in shows like “Ella Fitzgerald: First Lady of Song” “From My Hometown: A Rag To Riches Celebration of the American Dream In Classic Rhythm & Blues” “If These Shoes Could Talk: A Tap Dance Tale.” Summers has also written African American interpretations of classic literature in musicals such as “Yo’ Alice: A Soulful Adaptation of Lewis Carroll’s Alice in Wonderland and Through The Looking Glass,” among many others.
Summers’ “funk” musical The Funkentine Rapture (National Alliance for Musical Theatre) is unique in today’s panorama of Broadway bound shows. Featuring an original score which resists the “Juke Box Musical” format so often utilized on Broadway (using hit songs recorded previously), source materials by the iconic artists such as George Clinton and Bootsy Collins, known best for the genre, and celebrated in The Funkentine Rapture serve as the creative inspiration for Summers’ music and lyrics in these compositions.
Summers' compositions solo or in collaboration, have been recorded or performed by such artists as Andre DeShields, Billy Porter, Harold Nicholas of the Nicholas Brothers, Tony Winner Adriane Lenox, Tony Winner BJ Crosby, Tony Nominee Brenda Braxton, Adrian Bailey, Marva Hicks, Todrick Hall, Chester Gregory, Jeffery V. Thompson, Shana Steele, Linzey Jones, Russell Fischer, Natasha Y. Williams, Tinatin Jeopardize, Robert Ball, Tarhaqua, Tyrick Jones, Ryan Shaw, Mykal Kilgore, Rhonda Ross, Lawrence Stallings, Ebony Jo Ann, Lee Truesdale, Marty Thomas, Maia Wilson, Capathia Jenkins, Aisha DeHaas, Virginia Woodruff, Destan Owens, Robert Fowler, Ty Stephens and many others.
As creator of the Just A Piano Concert Series, Lee Summers has presented top artists performing to Just A Piano for seven years at the Triad Theatre. Artists include, Tony Winner LaChanze, Tony Winner Lillias White, Norm Lewis, Tony Winner Melba Moore, Two Time Grammy Winner Caron Wheeler and many others along with tops pianists/accompanists, Timothy Graphenreed, Michael Mitchell, Brian Whitted, Zane Mark, Shelton Becton, Onaje Allen Gumbs, Jo Lynn Burks, Stacy Penson and many more.
As a Director, Summers has directed shows in venues ranging from New York’s Urban Stages, AMAS Musical Theatre, New World Stages, The Triad Theatre, Flushing Town Hall, Theatreworks in Palo Alto, CA, The Milwaukee Repertory Theatre and many more
Lee Summers works have received critical acclaim along with such honors as The New Professional Theatre's "Our Voices Award" eight AUDELCO Award nominations, selection and presentation in the National Alliance for Musical Theatre's Festival of New Musicals, a developmental workshop at Theatreworks in Palo Alto, California, a developmental workshop at Radio City Musical Hall, developmental support from the Shubert Organization, a Gilman and Gonzalez-Falla Commendation for his work in American Musical Theater, New York's 2010 Bistro Award and four Michigan 2012 Wilde Award nominations and a recent win for Best Ensemble.
In 2001 Lee Summers returned to the Broadway stage performing with Audra McDonald, Norm Lewis, Billy Porter, Tamara Tunie, Heather Headley and others in the 20th Anniversary of Dreamgirls Benefit for the Actors Fund. On 12.12.12, eleven years later, Summers assembled his own birthday benefit concert for Actors Fund which raised $1000.00.
Lee Summers, TV & Film credits include: Boardwalk Empire, Law & Order, New York Undercover, Malcolm X and many others. A member Screen Actors Guild, AFTRA and Actor Equity Association, Summers made his Broadway debut in the original 1980's production of Dreamgirls (his performance is archived in the Lincoln Center Library for the Performing Arts), and he also reprised his same role in Broadway's 2001 Dreamgirls 20th Anniversary. Summers also appeared Off-Broadway in Miss Marguarita's Way with Estelle Parsons, as an original cast member of From My Hometown, in the musical Little Ham along with countless cabaret and regional performances, for which his one-man show Winds of Change earned him a 2010 Bistro Award for "Most Outstanding Entertainer." A recipient of a Gilman & Gonzalez-Falla Commendation Award for his work in Musical Theatre, Summers is an alum of Tennessee State University in his hometown of Nashville and is presently continuing his education at SUNY Empire State University.