Saturday Night Fever
SATURDAY NIGHT FEVER
The 70's: a decade of frightening hair,
clothes and politics. A decade of upheaval and turmoil, built on the
fragile remnants of and age of Peace & Love that promised so much
but brought so little. Oh nostalgia, what can beat it?
Saturday Night Fever was a phenomenally
successful movie and an even bigger album penned and performed by the
Bee Gees. It was estimated that 1 in every 3 households owned a copy
at the time of its release and secured its place in the Guinness Book
Of Records as the biggest selling movie soundtrack of all time as a
The stage version, then, has a lot to
live up to and, for the most part, succeeds.
Tony has three passions: disco, dating
and dressing up to achieve success in both of the former categories.
When he meets the fabulously talented Stephanie (Westaby) at Odyssey,
the neighbourhood Disco run by the fabulous Monty (Williamson), Tony
realises the upcoming competition to be held at the club is there for
the taking and nothing is going to get in his way.
The music, as can be expected, is timeless
and all of the hits are here: Stayin' Alive kicks the show off,
with a little homage to the movie, with Tony walking along the street,
whilst the signs that he walks beneath interchange to give the sense
of movement that starts the movie, whereas Night Fever is sung
as Tony gets ready to go out on a Saturday night, much to the delight
of the audience.
To be fair, the first half of the show
is a replay of the album and the story, such as it is anyway - a rework
of West Side Story to all intents and purposes - fails to instil
little more than a tribute vehicle to carry the songs.
The most notable aspects, however, are
the dance routines that are executed with faultless brilliance and athleticism.
Disco Inferno alone is a sight to behold, as is the energy that
is used during Boogie Shoes. Throughout the show, the stage is
mass of excitement and energy that only wanes as the music slips into
Bobby C (Webb) who is desperate to fit
in with Tony's gang, is mentally bullied throughout and Webb's version
of Tragedy is incredibly powerful and is, along with Rebecca
Dent's version of If I Can't Have You, amongst the major highlights
of the show. Here are two people that need to have an eye kept on them;
clear, strong and emotional, these are stars of the future.
The lighting is exceptional, the singing
from the cast is clear and evocative and Shaun "Barry From Eastenders"
Williamson as DJ Monty, is hilarious in his tight lyrcra shorts, curly
wigs and spangly suits.
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Fever' produced by Arlene
Phillips & Pete Hagen?
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Writing gets me away for a while' from this world and into one where I, alone, can make or
break the rules as I see fit. - Chris High 2003.
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