CRT presents the Musical Stage Version of “Saturday Night Fever”

For the second production in their 47th annual season of professional summer theatre, Cortland Repertory Theatre invites audiences to dust off those leisure suits and platform shoes for the musical stage version of the iconic 1970’s Paramount/SRO film Saturday Night Fever. Based on a story by Nik Cohn, the movie was adapted for the stage by Robert Stigwood in collaboration with Bill Oaks, with the North American version written by Sean Cercone and David Abbinati.  The production features the Grammy Award winning songs by the Bee Gees.

Emily James as Stephanie Mangano and Michael Russell as Tony Manero in Cortland Repertory Theatre’s production of  “Saturday Night Fever” running from June 20 – July 7.

Photo by Eric Behnke.

In the story, Tony Manero has an unhappy family life and a dead end job, but problems melt away on Saturday nights at “2001 Odyssey”, the local disco where he is the king of the dance floor. Sparks fly when he enters a dance competition with Stephanie Mangano, the results of which bring shocking changes to Tony and his gang’s lives forever. The iconic songs speak for themselves: Jive Talkin’, If I Can’t Have You, More Than A Woman, How Deep Is Your Love, Night Fever and Stayin’ Alive – plus new songs written just for this stage show

Saturday Night Fever is directed by CRT’s Producing Artistic Director Kerby Thompson, who is in his 18th year at the theatre. Previous productions Thompson has directed include 1776, Appointment with Death, Cards on the Table and others. Choreography is handled by Bryan Knowlton with music direction by Shoshana Seid-Green, both making their CRT debuts.

The production is comprised of many actors making their CRT debuts.  Playing the pivotal role of Tony is Michael Russell, with Emily Janes as Stephanie.  Three members of CRT’s Performing Intern Company play Tony’s gang “The Faces”, including SUNY Cortland theatre student John Cavaseno as Joey, Ithaca College students Christian Henry as Bobby and Jahmar R. Ortiz as Double J.  Rounding out the gang is Elon University student Braden Phillips as Gus.   Syracuse University student Stephanie Garofalo plays Annette, who suffers unrequited love for Tony; also representing Syracuse as an intern is Victoria Madden as Tony’s sister Linda, and a featured dancer. Coming from Ball State University is Amanda Walker playing Pauline, Bobby’s girlfriend.  Rounding out the nine member Intern Company are ensemble members Jacob Smith from Nazareth College, Ian Dominquez Ball from Point Park University and Camden Garcia from Boston University School of Theatre.

Other actors making their CRT debut include Woody Minshew, a recent graduate of Ithaca College, as Monty the disco owner and DJ; Kennedy Salters as Candy, the dance club singer; and Kyle Kniseley as Frank Jr., Tony’s older brother. Jimmy Johansmeyer, also the show’s costume designer, will play Tony’s father Frank Sr., and Jan Labellarte will play Tony’s mother, Flo. Johansmeyer has been seen on the CRT stage as Gomez Addams in The Addams Family and in Grease. Labellarte was seen in last summer’s Footloose.  Previously seen in CRT’s 1940’s Radio Hour, local actor Doug Walls plays Mr. Fusco, the paint store owner.  Rounding out the cast are New York City singer/dancers William Patrick Rivera (a SUNY Cortland grad), Kelsey Brodeur (a Syracuse U grad) plus Leyla Ali and Elise Kowalick.

Stage Manager Tim James returns for his second summer at CRT, leading the design and production team. Darin Himmerich returns as Scenic Designer, having worked on La Cage Aux Folles last summer. Continuing their work this season are Props Designer Andrew Carney, Sound Designer Seth Asa Sengel and Technical Director Dana White Jr. Lighting Designer Paul Radassao makes his CRT debut with this production.

CRT continues “Friday Night Talk Backs” at which a Q & A session with the actors, designers and crew takes place after select Friday evening performances. Tickets are also on sale for all of CRT’s summer season, which includes Newsies, Our Town, Women in Jeopardy!, The Rat Pack Lounge and July performances of the children’s show Dorothy Meets Alice.  Please visit www.cortlandrep.org for details and show times.

Photos courtesy of Kerby Thompson

Check out the rest of the summer season & see special ticket deals…