Plenty to groove to in 'Saturday Night Fever'
MANILA, Philippines – In the 1970s, a young John Travolta graced the silver screen with his surprisingly fluid performance of a New Yorker out to conquer the dance floor in Saturday Night Fever. More than just about his moves, the movie inspired the locks, the accents, and the iconic suit with flared white trousers and black pointed collars. So when Atlantis Productions brought this story to life on stage, the recall was tremendous, overwhelming, and instantaneous – so much so that I got transported back in space and time, especially through the songs of the beloved Bee Gees.
Right from the start, the musical had me wanting to get up and dance (especially the introductory dance song "Staying Alive" which had all characters grooving to the music) but I restrained myself since I didn’t know how to dance. The accents, the lights, the hair and their clothes all played a huge and transformative part in bringing me into that particular era and made me believe I wasn’t merely an onlooker.
The legendary numbers from Maurice, Barry and Robin Gibb were nostalgic, but they had been reworked so much it was quite difficult to recognize them – the massive disco hit "Tragedy," for example, was turned into a heartbreaking ballad. Surprisingly, this harmonious twist worked well with the storyline because of its gritty street drama that’s innovative and more than just disco dance.
Yes, the plot involves more than just Tony Manero (Brandon Rubendall) wanting to win a $500 disco competition – it deals with delicate and sensitive subjects such as abortion, premarital sex, street fights, class, religion, and suicide which heighten and add breath to the characters of the story.
With the final show last July 26, fans in Southeast Asia can still catch the cast in Singapore and and Malaysia this September. – Rappler.com