Australian theatre producer John Frost has announced the leading performers and the rest of the cast of the iconic hit musical Saturday Night Fever, which will premiere in Sydney at the Sydney Lyric Theatre from 27 March 2019.
The coveted lead role of Tony Manero has gone to rising star Euan Doidge, Helpmann Award nominated for his role in Priscilla Queen of the Desert, after performing in Les Miserables, A Chorus Line and the Gordon Frost Organisation’s Grease and Legally Blonde. As Stephanie Mangano, the best dancer at the nightclub, will be Melanie Hawkins. Melanie has previously appeared in Singin’ In The Rain, Strictly Ballroom the Musical, King Kong Live on Stage and Rock of Ages.
Tim ‘Timomatic’ Omaji will join the cast of Saturday Night Fever as Monty, the MC at Disco Odyssey 2001, the nightclub where Tony Manero dances every Saturday night. Tim has starred in the musicals Fame, In the Heights and Madiba the Musical.
Tony’s older brother, Frank Jr., will be played by Stephen Mahy, recently seen in Mamma Mia!, as well as in Miss Saigon and as Kenickie in Grease. Angelique Cassimatis (Priscilla Queen of the Desert, Mack & Mabel, Strictly Ballroom) will play Annette, a neighbourhood girl who longs for a closer relationship with Tony. The troubled Bobby C will be played by Ryan Morgan, a recent NIDA graduate who has appeared on stage in A Town Named War Boy and Ironbound.
Australia’s original disco diva, Marcia Hines, will play the role of The Diva, who performs at Disco Odyssey 2001. Bobby Fox (Jersey Boys, Assassins, Hot Shoe Shuffle) joins the cast as part of the star vocalists alongside Paulini, Natalie Conway and Nana Matapule. Together they will give voice to the much-loved disco Saturday Night Fever soundtrack.
The cast also includes the best dancers working in Australia today – Justin Anderson, Giuliana Carniato, Lachlan Dearing, Lauren Elton, Mitchell Fistrovic, Gaynor Hicks, Elysha Manik, Kiara McGowan, Coby Njoroge, Maddie Peat, Stephen Perez, Erica Stubbs, Lola Thompson, Benjamin Turland and Chris Van Doren.
“I’m sure we have the hottest cast that has ever played on Sydney stages. With the sensational Marcia Hines and our wonderful ensemble of singers pumping out those disco hits, and the most talented dancers in Australia strutting those moves, I know the audience will be on their feet every night,” said John Frost. “The incredible unforgettable, toe tapping songs in Saturday Night Fever are loved by all, young and old, so it’s sure to be a party every night at the Sydney Lyric.”
Paying homage to the classic movie, Saturday Night Fever is packed with disco classics, including the Bee Gees’ greatest hits Stayin’ Alive, How Deep Is Your Love, Night Fever, Tragedy and More Than A Woman.
The 1977 movie Saturday Night Fever starring John Travolta and Karen Gorney, was based on a story in New York Magazine by Nik Cohn, who many years later acknowledged that he made up the characters and the story. The movie is credited with defining the 1970’s, while the soundtrack remains the best-selling soundtrack of all time with over 45 million copies sold.
Saturday Night Fever tells the story of 19-year-old Tony Manero, a Brooklyn youth whose weekend is spent at the local discotheque, where life lights up on the disco floor. There, Tony luxuriates in the admiration of the crowd and a growing relationship with Stephanie Mangano, and where he can temporarily forget the realities of his life, including a dead-end job in a paint store and his gang of deadbeat friends.
Saturday Night Fever is based on the Paramount / RSO movie and the story by Nik Cohn, adapted for the stage by Robert Stigwood and Bill Oakes, while the new version has been arranged and edited by Ryan McBryde. Music and lyrics are by artists including the Bee Gees.
Saturday Night Fever plays at the Sydney Lyric Theatre from 27 March 2019. For more information, visit: www.saturdaynightfever.com.au for details.
Image: Euan Doidge and Melanie Hawkins in Saturday Night Fever – photo by Daniel Boud