When the Saturday Night Fever U.S. tour was first announced, producers asserted that it would boast a production the same size and scope at the New York show. But it now appears the musical will go the same way as The Scarlet Pimpernel and Ragtime -- that is, a smaller cast will hit the road.
The Fever tour will feature several fewer performers than does the Broadway show, producer Manny Kladitis told Playbill On-Line. Kladitis could not say the exact number of actors that would be cut, except that it would be less than ten.
Kladitis stated, furthermore, that the set for the touring show would match the New York version. Both Pimpernel and Ragtime saw their impressive scenic values shrink in the regions.
Heading the cast of the road show will be Richard Blake, who understudied the role of Tony Manero at the Minskoff Theatre until recently. The casting of the two female leads has not been determined.
The disco-dancing denizens of Bay Ridge, Brooklyn, circa 1977, will start spreading the fever across the U.S. on Jan. 30, 2001, at the Orpheum Theatre in Minneapolis. The show will then travel to more than 50 other cities over a two-year period. *
Saturday Night Fever, the musical inspired by the hit Robert Stigwood film of the same title, opened on Broadway at the Minskoff Theatre Oct. 21, after a month of previews which began Sept. 28.
The cast was headed by James Carpinello, Paige Price and Orfeh (the latter two are still with the show). Also populating the floor at the 2001 Odyssey discotheque were Bryan Batt (as DJ Monty), Paul Castree, Richard H. Blake, Andy Blankenbuehler and Sean Palmer. The film-based musical boasts a total cast of 43 and roughly a dozen dance numbers.
Carpinello wore the dancin' shoes of John Travolta as Bay Ridge boy Tony Manero. Price plays Stephanie, Tony's sassy dance partner and love interest.
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 Brooklyn-based dancin' fools.
Saturday Night Fever is adapted for the stage by Nan Knighton, in collaboration with Broadway newcomer Arlene Phillips (who directs and choreographs), Paul Nicholas and Robert Stigwood (who will produce with Manny Kladitis and David Rocksavage). Director Phillips has served as choreographer on such feature films as "Annie" and "Monty Python's Meaning of Life."