Photo courtesy of CM Performing Arts Center
Play Review: 'Saturday Night Fever'
SUFFOLK COUNTY—It’s pretty much a given that we of a certain age are all familiar with the iconic movie “Saturday Night Fever,” starring John Travolta, in 1977, the heyday of disco dancing. But have you seen the musical? Now is your chance to experience the ‘disco inferno’ live!
The Noel S. Ruiz Theatre at CM Performing Arts Center, now celebrating 30 years, presents “Saturday Night Fever the Musical,” based on the Paramount/RSO film and story by Nik Cohn and songs by the Bee Gees. The play will run through Aug. 19 with all the glitz and dance moves of the era, mirror ball and all.
Brooklyn’s Bay Ridge is home to teen disco dance king Tony Manero, who lights up the dance floor with the suave moves of a proverbial “Italian Stallion,” dressed to the nines, hair slicked back and ready to delight the ladies. He envisions one lady in particular, Stephanie Mangano, as his perfect dance partner for an upcoming competition at the local club. Both are seeking a better future, she moving on up to live in Manhattan, and he quitting his job at the local paint store to pursue his dancing dreams and breaking out of the monotony of his daily life that includes hanging out with the guys on the Verrazano Bridge.
The cast reflects the talents of many favorite CM stars. Steve Cottonaro plays Manero, whose first number, “Life Goin’ Nowhere,” set the tone of the play, while joined by the company singing “Stayin’ Alive,” one of the play’s character’s anthems. Other songs, such as “How Deep is Your Love,” “More Than a Woman,” and “You Should Be Dancing” have never lost their popularity and at the end of the performance, the cast got the whole audience up to dance along to the disco beat. Ashley Nicastro’s Mangano sings “What Kind of Fool” in the second act and virtually announces the changes that are coming to both their young lives.
The authentic costumes and dance routines were a fun look back to another era. Polyester suits and boys and girls dancing together instead of freestyling take the audience on a disco journey. As with many of CM’s productions, there was a live orchestra conducted by Matthew W. Surico that adds an element of excitement to every show.
“Saturday Night Fever the Musical” is the last show of this season with several exciting plays planned for next season on the main stage, which begins Sept. 9 with “Dreamgirls.” October brings us “Jekyll & Hyde the Musical” just in time for the Halloween season. A great family show, Disney’s “Beauty and the Beast,” will be staged during the winter holidays, adding to the magic of the season, running from Nov. 18 through Dec. 23. “Aida” will play in January.
To learn more about The Noel S. Ruiz Theatre at CM Performing Arts Center located at 931 Montauk Highway, Oakdale, you can visit their website at www.CMPAC.com or call 631-218-2810.
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