Saturday Night Fever – Review by Bonnie Goldberg


Be nostalgic and raise your hand triumphantly to the sky, slick your hair back, practice your dance moves and get set to move and groove, jump and jive, as the Ivoryton Playhouse welcomes the classic hit show “Saturday Night Fever” to town until Sunday, September 3.

Get set to conjure up the iconic image of a man, in this case John Travolta, clad in vanilla colored suit, passionately dancing to win his future. Now with the help of Michael Notardonato’s magnetic Tony Manero we meet a young man trapped in Brooklyn who yearns to escape and his cool dance moves are his ticket out. Thanks to a book by Nan Knighton, in collaboration with Arlene Phillips, Paul Nicholas and Robert Stigwood, you have the exciting opportunity to watch Tony reach out to catch his dreams.

By day Tony works in a paint store but the colors there are drab black and white and gray. He deals with a crowd of deadbeat pals, Colin Lee, Pierre Marais, Tom DiFeo and .Joey Lucherini, who aren’t going to win any prizes in the game of life. When the workweek ends, however, Tony crosses into a technicolor world when he struts into the local disco.

At the discotheque, he is morphed from a lowly frog into the worshiped prince and suddenly he owns the musical world. Here he is admired. All things are possible, even a courtship with the much appreciated Stephanie Mangano, Caroline Lellouche. Tony quickly forgets his former dance partner Annette, a loyal Nora Fox, to pursue the exotic new girl.

Will Tony’s smooth and groovy dance floor moves help him win Stephanie’s heart? Could they even be the magic gold ticket that will launch him out of Brooklyn into the big time? Stephanie, however, is the “maybe” girl, who is reluctant to make a commitment.

The great tunes from the Bee Gees’ repertoire, starting with the smart and savvy lyrics of “Stayin’ Alive,” pulsate compellingly to aid the story’s advance. Other tunes like “How Deep Is Your Love,” “If I Can’t Have Him” and “Top of Your Game” stroke the momentum, especially with impressive choreography and direction by a smooth moving Todd Underwood.

For tickets ($50 adults, $45 seniors, $22 students, $17 children-), call the Ivoryotn Playhouse at 860-767-7318 or online at Performances are Wednesday and Thursday at 7:30 p.m., Friday and Saturday at 8 p.m.. with matinees Wednesday and Sunday at 2 p.m.

Watch temperatures rise to an explosive pitch as “Saturday Night Fever” raises the Ivoryton roof and sets it sailing to the strastosphere.