Thursday, July 27, 2017

review - SATURDAY NIGHT FEVER - Arizona Broadway Theatre

Jeremy Jason Sartin and Melissa Rapelje (center) and cast
Photo by Shari Corbett / Shari Corbett Photography
highlights from local critics reviews - (click link at bottom of each review to read complete review)

Click here for more information on this production that runs through August 20th.

"...Saturday Night Fever ...catapulted John Travolta and the songs of the Bee Gees to superstar status ...Forty years later this somewhat simple story of a young man in Brooklyn who works in a dead-end job and only truly feels alive when he is dancing at his local discotheque still makes for a fairly moving story about people doing what they need to do in order to "stay alive." ...Arizona Broadway Theatre presents a recently updated version of the musical, ...with a talented and energetic cast who excel in delivering the production's numerous spectacular dance numbers....the fairly basic plot doesn't provide much character development beyond Tony and Stephanie, with the majority of the supporting characters and their relationships having very little depth. ...While the plot may be thin and predictable, the numerous, well known, pulsating hit songs from the soundtrack are the driving force of the show...While most of the ABT cast are slightly older than the age that Tony and his friends are supposed to be, they all work well in delivering portrayals that, though slightly stereotypical, are indicative of the 1970s. They also can all dance incredibly well. As Tony, Jeremy Jason Sartin has the perfect swagger and savviness of a young man who feels he is the king of the world when he's on the dance floor but also displays a good balance of eagerness with just a hint of uncertainty when faced with situations he isn't quite ready to deal with. Melissa Rapelje is excellent as Stephanie. Like Sartin, her Brooklyn accent is impeccable and she does well in portraying this young woman who feels like she has to continually brag about her new life outside of Brooklyn to impress others...Director and choreographer Stephen Casey infuses the entire production with a big dose of heightened energy...His varied and energetic dances are fun, animated, and period perfect and include several of the film's signature moves without being exact reproductions. While Michaela Lynne Stein's set design may go the minimalistic route..her exceptional back wall panel...pulsates in always-changing colors. ..the vibrant costumes from Morgan Andersen and excellent wig and makeup designs by Amanda Gran that sensationally display all that was so horribly bad in the bold patterns, polyester fabrics, and feathered hair of the '70s...is nostalgic and full of high energy, with a score of over a dozen non-stop hit songs. ABT's spirited cast excel on the many disco-infused dance numbers in the show and the end result is a fun, energetic, crowd pleasing musical of a simple story of two individuals who are just hoping to make better lives for themselves. " -Gil Benbrook, Talkin' Broadway (click here to read the complete review)

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