1977 was a huge break-out year for John Travolta with the monster hits Grease and Saturday Night Fever bringing enormous financial success both at the box office and from the purchases s of the soundtracks.
I confess that I saw both these films whilst sojourning in exotic locations. This caused me to suspend all critical faculties such that I adored both films.
If I had to pick a favourite it would have to be Saturday Night Fever and in particular its gritty back story. I was also partial to its disco beat and dancing.
When in 1977, I saw John Travolta swaggering down a Brooklyn street to the beat of the Bee Gees Stayin Alive I got goosebumps up the back of my neck.
To my surprise when I attended the Media Call at the ten day point in rehearsals, I once again experienced goosebumps when I heard the strains of Disco Inferno and let the energy and enthusiasm of the frenetic ensemble wash over me.
There is a trend for films with some musical content to be fleshed out with more songs to create musical theatre. I believe that Saturday Night Fever was one of the first such films which debuted in the West End in 1998 and on Broadway in 1999.
The movie is based on a story by Nik Cohn and adapted for the stage by legendary impresario Robert Stigwood together with Bill Oakes. This new version has been arranged and edited by Ryan McBryde. The classic music and lyrics by the Bee Gees and other artists remain.
The lead role of Tony Manero is played by Euan Doidge, Helpmann Award nominated for his role in Priscilla Queen of The Desert. Playing Stephanie Mangano, the best dancer at the nightclub is Melanie Hawkins who has previously appeared in Singin In The Rain and Strictly Ballroom The Musical .
No disco musical would be complete without its queen. Marsha Hines who will play the role of The Diva.
Paulini, Bobby Fox, Natalie Conway and Nana Matapule are the vocalists who give voice to the Saturday Night Fever soundtrack. ‘Timomatic’ Omaji , Stephen Mahy and Angelique Cassimatis and Ryan Morgan round out the other principal characters.
For an added wow factor 2.5 million LEDs will illuminate this production.
I’m sure that the Lyric Theatre audiences will be furiously tapping along to Saturday Night Fever’s disco classics including Stayin Alive, How Deep is Your Love, Night Fever, Tragedy and More Than A Woman.
This iconic musical will premiere at the Sydney Lyric Theatre from 27th March 2019 for an exclusive Australian season .
All pics by Ben Apfelbaum © .