Filipinos to feel ‘Saturday Night Fever’

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Get ready to boogie on down with Brandon Rubendall’s Tony Manero

Get ready to boogie on down with Brandon Rubendall’s Tony Manero

“The younger generation has not had a chance to witness the impact of the movie Saturday Night Fever made in the ’70s. I’d be great to see a new generation of theatergoers dancing in the aisles to the timeless tunes of The Bee Gees.”

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That is the statement of Patrick Bywalski, deputy chairman of Robert Stigwood Organisation Ltd., as he co-produces the upcoming Asian Tour of the hit West End and Broadway dance musical Saturday Night Fever in Manila alongside Atlantis Theatrical Entertainment Group (ATEG) and Ten Bridges Media Corp.

In fact, the dancing crowd doing the hustle is expected to spill out of The Theater at Solaire Resort and Casino, where a ’70s disco-themed party will take place at a nearby venue to aptly kick off the tour running in Manila (July 3 to 26), Kuala Lumpur (Septmber 1 to 15), and Singapore (September 25 to October 11).

“Since Saturday Night Fever opened in the West End in 1997, we’ve nurtured the musical around the globe with each production contextualized [and recontextualized]to please the local customs,” adds Bywalski.

Apparently, the recent UK productions and the upcoming Asian Tour of the musical have been more fearless—definitely more provocative—than their sanitized predecessors in the West End and on Broadway by staying true to the authentic, gritty realism depicted in the landmark film.

With the stamp of approval to re-imagine Saturday Night Fever onstage for Asian audiences, multi-awarded stage director Bobby Garcia has set his eyes on reliving the authentic coming-of-age in a tough world story of the film—amid the backdrop of the pulsating strobe lights of the infamous retro ’70s disco era.

Saturday Night Fever tells the story of Italian-American Vincent (later renamed to Tony Manero) and his gang in Bay Ridge, Brooklyn who are stuck in dead-end jobs but rule the dance floor at the discotheque 2001 Odyssey. Vincent or Tony is a tough cookie; an outstanding dancer, his ultimate dream was to escape the mean streets of Brooklyn.

A show that’s heavy on the dance side yet demands authentic emotions onstage, a triple threat casting is equally crucial.

At the end of the auditions, Brandon Rubendall (Spider-man on Broadway), Jenna Rubaii (American Idiot), and Nick Varricchio (A Chorus Line) were cast as Tony, Stephanie, and Double J, respectively.

Thespians Marie Rose, Rafa Giguion-Reyna, Yanah Laurel, Jamie Wilson, and Carla Guevara-Laforteza are also joining its 20-strong cast.

Besides Garcia, Pesce, and Rubin, Tony Award-winning scenic designer David Gallo, original lighting designer of Saturday Night Fever on Broadway Paul Miller, costume designer Eric Pineda, and musical director Ceejay Javier are also part of the show’s first-rate creative team.

For tickets and more information, call ATEG at 650-5144 or 0917-8381534; visit ticketworld.com.ph.

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