James Carpinello will step into the dancin' shoes of John Travolta as Bay Ridge boy Tony Manero in the new Broadway musical Saturday Night Fever, confirmed Endeavor, which reps the actor. Carpinello, who had been competing for the role with television heartthrob Joey Lawrence, was called in for a final audition on Friday, May 7, before being offered the part.
Very likely, he will be playing opposite Paige Price as Stephanie, Tony's dance partner and love interest. Alliance, which reps Price, said the actress was being considered for the part but that no offer had been made as of yet. Price has been around the Broadway scene for many years, touring with A Chorus Line and understudying Smokey Joe's Cafe.
Carpinello made his mark in the Off-Broadway play Stupid Kids, which debuted last year at the WPA Theatre and then transferred for a short run at the Century Center Theatre. Carpinello then had a leading role in a West Coast mounting of The Rocky Horror Show.
Saturday Night Fever features many of the Bee Gees songs from the 1977 movie, including "Stayin' Alive" (which opens the show) and "Night Fever," and others that weren't, such as "Tragedy." Also thrown into the mix are K.C. and the Sunshine Band's "Boogie Shoes," Rick Dees' "Disco Duck," and Barry Gibb's "What Kind of Fool." All the songs are woven into the coming of-age story, often functioning as plot-furthering personal statements by the story's various Bay Ridge-based dancin' fools.
Saturday Night Fever is adapted for the stage by Nan Knighton, in collaboration with Arlene Phillips (who directs and choreographs), Paul Nicholas and Robert Stigwood (who will produce with Niko Associates). The set, by Robin Wagner, shares with another film-turned-stage-musical, Footloose, the monumental presence of a bridge -- this time the Verrazano. Saturday Night Fever began performances at London's Palladium April 29, 1998 and has been playing to enthusiastic, teenybopper-heavy audiences since. The show made a matinee idol of Adam Garcia, who played Manero.
Tickets to Saturday Night Fever, opening at Broadway's Minskoff Theatre on Oct. 21, went on sale April 18. Previews will begin Sept. 28.
For information on the hit London musical based on the 1977 John Travolta film, call (212) 307-4100.