South Africa’s first “non-replica”, professional production of the legendary disco musical, ‘Saturday Night Fever’, is coming to the Opera Theatre of the Pretoria State Theatre from Tuesday, September 13. “We have an absolutely fabulous, world class company of all South African artists,” says Executive Producer Bernard Jay. “The crème-de-la-crème of the amazing pool of musical theatre talent we have in this country.”
Leading the company on stage will be Daniel Buys as Tony Manero, Natasha Van Der Merwe as Stephanie Mangano, Matthew Berry as Bobby C, L J Neilson as Annette, Craig Urbani as Frank Manero, Charmaine Weir-Smith as Flo Manero, Bongi Mthombeni as Monty and Kiruna-Lind Devar as Pauline.
Also featured in the all-star cast are Joanna Abatzoglou, Cameron Botha, Vanessa Brierley, Londiwe Dhlomo, Keaton Ditchfield, Brandon Lindsay, Phumi Mncayi, Raquel Munn, Mark Richardson and Steven van Wyk, amongst others.
Winning the coveted role of the iconic Tony Manero – made legendary in the 1977 movie starring John Travolta – Daniel Buys (‘Mamma Mia!’, ‘Jersey Boys’, ‘West Side Story’) declared “my inner Bee Gee just came out at the auditions.”
Direction is by award-winning Greg Homann (‘A Voice I Cannot Silence’), choreography by Weslee Swain Lauder, musical direction by Rowan Bakker (this year’s Naledi Award Best Musical Director for ‘Sister Act’), with set and lighting design by Denis Hutchinson, costume design by Sarah Roberts and sound design by Trevor Peters.
The original stage musical of ‘Saturday Night Fever’ was based on Nik Cohn’s 1975 New York Magazine article, ‘Tribal Rites of the New Saturday Night’, and the 1977 film. The famous Bee Gees score – one of the best-selling movie soundtracks of all time – includes such smash hits as ‘Stayin’ Alive’, ‘Disco Inferno’, ‘Night Fever’, ‘More Than a Woman’, ‘If I Can’t Have You’, ‘Nights on Broadway’, ‘How Deep is Your Love’ and ‘Tragedy’.
The State Theatre’s production is a new version of the show adapted by American writers Sean Cercone and David Abbinanti: “We went back to the screenplay and edited it down,” says Cercone. “The songs needed to carry the emotional journey.”
This show is the second in an ambitious programme of musical shows put together by the State Theatre’s Artistic Director, Aubrey Sekhabi, and producer Bernard Jay to showcase the national asset that is the Opera Theatre in Pretoria.
Following ‘Saturday Night Fever’ will be T’he Greatest Love of All – The Whitney Houston Show’, starring Belinda Davids, and the South African premier of the current Broadway sensation, the musical ‘The Color Purple’, to be directed by Janice Honeyman.
‘Saturday Night Fever’ previews at the Opera Theatre from September 13, with its official Opening Night set for September 16. The season runs until October 9.
Tickets are on sale now at Computicket from R150.