You Should Be Dancing! Saturday Night Fever comes to the WBT

Published: Wednesday, September 28, 2016 By: Irene Young Wallace Source: I On the Valley

Saturday Night Fever the musical comes to the Westchester Broadway Theater stage.  This musical adaption of the 1977 movie which starred John Travolta was adapted for the stage and premiered in London in 1998 and on Broadway in 2000.  It has enjoyed numerous tours and revivals around the world.  It now comes to Westchester and runs through January 29, 2017.

The story (based on a 1975 article in New York Magazine by Nik Cohn) follows the life of 19-year-old Tony Manero (Jacob Tischler) of Brooklyn, who lives with his family in Bay Ridge, Brooklyn.  He is stuck in a job with no future and is caught up in the economic malaise that was the late 1970s.  With his father laid off from his job and his brother questioning his path into the priesthood, Tony and his friends turn to dancing as their escape.

We follow Tony's exploits as he displays his talents on the floor of the 2001 Odyssey club where he absorbs the admiration of his fellow club goers.  Here he meets Stephanie Mangano (Alexandra Matteo) a 20-year-old dancer who has moved away from the neighborhood to Manhattan where she is looking to transform herself.  Tony is intrigued by her dancing ability and her boldness in leaving Brooklyn and her old life behind.  They find as they practice for a dance contest that they have more in common than they originally thought.
Tony's gang of friends and his family are all woven into the story as well as Tony discovers he really is "going nowhere" and must make decisions about his future.

The musical score including all the Bee Gees hits ("Staying Alive", "Jive Talking", "You should be Dancing", Night Fever") are all here, including songs not in the movie.  The arrangements of some of the songs have been changed which makes them fresh and more interesting and in some cases, the lyrics have more impact in the context of the story.

Set design by Michael Bottari makes full use of the WBT stage and included are a bridge which spans the back of the stage and frames the story, the Manero's kitchen which appears from below and then disappears below stage, the disco, and other locals from the story.

The cast is large with both main players and ensemble singer/dancers.  Michelle Dawson, who last appeared in Man of La Mancha, returns to the WBT stage and lends her vocal talents to several musical numbers including "Nights on Broadway".  Lead actors Jacob Tischler and Alexandra Matteo are excellent in every aspect of their performances. Directed by Richard Stafford.

All in all a fun musical that is family friendly and is a treat not just for fans of the film but anyone who enjoys a story of struggle and of course great dancing.
Get out your dancing shoes and boogie over to the Westchester Broadway Theater in Elmsford.