Saturday Night Fever was more than an entertaining, cult favourite film; it became the very definition of how music, dance and pop culture can come together and redefine an era even in the passing of time
The plot of Saturday Night Fever tells the story of Tony Manero, a young Italian-American man living in Brooklyn with a dead-end job in a paint store. The highlight of his life is his Saturday nights dancing at the local discotheque. There he enjoys the admiration of the crowd and develops a growing relationship with Stephanie Mangano, and can temporarily forget the realities of his life. Tony has only one ambition: to become the disco king. Together with Stephanie, who also dreams of a life beyond the city, they decide to train together for a dance competition.
The film also showcased aspects of the music, dancing, and subculture surrounding the disco era: symphony-orchestrated melodies, retro clothing styles and costume, graceful, groovy choreography and the courting habits of people of that time. Its success widened the disco phenomenon worldwide and revived a genre that critics believed was about to run its course. Today, mention the word ‘disco’ and one will immediately think of Saturday Night Fever; such is the impact the film had left behind. Who can forget that iconic scene of John Travolta executing the point and strut with flair and feeling? The dance “Do the Hustle” became an overnight craze; a dance move that defines an era and up till today the move has never been forgotten.
The success of Saturday Night Fever is amplified by the involvement of Bee Gees in its soundtrack, which was composed and performed primarily by the trio’s members Barry, Robin and Maurice Gibb. Today, the stage version brings you the favourites sung and performed in the movie such as “Night Fever”, “Stayin’ Alive”, “How Deep is Your Love”, “If I Can’t Have You”, “Jive Talkin” and “More Than a Woman”. The Bee Gees won a total of five Grammy Awards for its soundtrack, forever immortalising the film and its legacy. The soundtrack might have ruled the airwaves in the 70s but its legacy continues to find its way into the hearts of the younger generation today; with covers by artistes such as Michael Buble and Kelly Rowland.
It was 21 years before the movie ended up on stage, premiering at London’s West End in 1998 and New York’s Broadway in 1999. Since then, Saturday Night Fever has been seen by over 10 million people with over 2,800 shows in more than 20 countries across the globe. One of the longest running musicals ever to date, the show continues to remain relevant in today’s modern world as it bridges the young and old with a common love of a fantastic musical performance.
Some Malaysian fans have already experienced the musical when, back in 2004, the Australian production made it to Istana Budaya with a sold out show. This 2015 production will be imbued with a slight contemporary edge while retaining the film’s grittiness and realistic portrayal of the disco era and the entertainment value of its music and dance moves. After all, there is a reason why the movie remains a cult favourite even after 38 years have passed since the film was released — it has that timeless appeal that will withstand the test of time. It is after all the all-time Bee Gees’ Smash Hit Musical!
The Broadway International Production of Saturday Night Fever the Musical Asian Tour, brought to Malaysia by Milestone Production, will play at Istana Budaya from Sept 4 to 13. Tickets are priced at RM568 (VVIP), RM398 (VIP), RM338 (CAT A), RM268 (CAT B), RM138 (CAT C) - (Ticket prices are inclusive of 6% GST but not inclusive of RM4 ticketing fee). Current promo of 'Buy 4 Free 1' is available. For more information on the ongoing ticket promotions, please log on to milestone-production.com or call 03-92228811.