Review Roundup: What Did Critics Think of SATURDAY NIGHT FEVER at Sydney Lyric Theatre?
SATURDAY NIGHT FEVER is playing at Sydney Lyric Theatre through June 2, 2019.
You will strut to SATURDAY NIGHT FEVER in this blazing stage show that propels the cult classic to phenomenal new heights.
Based on the 1977 movie starring John Travolta, this is the story of Tony Manero and his quest to break free from conformity and become king of the club.
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.
Packed with disco classics including The Bee Gees' hits Stayin' Alive, How Deep Is Your Love, Night Fever, Tragedy and More Than A Woman, SATURDAY NIGHT FEVER has explosive energy and sensational dancing. Our Star Vocalists Paulini Curuenavuli, Natalie Conway and Nana Matapule will bring the amazing disco soundtrack to life!
For tickets and more information, please visit https://www.sydneylyric.com.au/saturday-night-fever/
Let's see what the critics have to say!
Carly Fisher, Theater Travels: Whilst the four offered energetic group work, they were unfortunately outshone by Australia's queen of disco, Marcia Hines, who absolutely brought down the house with performances of her own songs. There completely for our own enjoyment (the songs and guest appearance really did nothing to advance the plot or story), Marcia was fabulous and certainly made the night...even if at the cost of the of the 'stardom' of the other vocalists.
Cassie Tongue, Time Out: When no one is dancing, there's no joy onstage. The book is perfunctory at best and Tony's parents are played, in pre-filmed scenes, by Denise Drysdale and Mark Mitchell. Doidge must address them on-screen whenever they're all supposed to be in a room together, and the end result is awkward, because a human having to interact with a pre-recorded video is always awkward.
Jason Whittaker, Daily Review: Melanie Hawkins is Stephani, who wins his heart through dancing and the desire for something better than this. She's Doidge's equal on the dancefloor. Tony's former dance partner, gooey-eyed Annette, is given short shrift and, with Angelique Cassimatis in the role, comes closest to any emotional impact. She also gets to sing, unlike the leads, delivering a lovelorn adaptation of If I Can't Have You, demonstrating what could have been achieved with the catalogue of songs the show had at its disposal.
Lady Lex, Scenestr: The sets were minimal and incredibly orchestrated: the largest disco ball in the southern hemisphere reflected lights across the audience with the lighting design flickering between intense flares on the dancefloor, and deep overwhelming colours for passionate scenes while the revolving circular stage added wonderfully to all the theatrical layers. Lighting projections added an energetic element to the walls and stage for a genuinely four-dimensional experience, from authentic Brooklyn street scenes to the disco and every room in between; allowing for all the necessary space required with large-scale dance moves without all the fuss. The costumes aptly paid tribute to the time, with sequins, bellbottoms, big collars, pantsuits, Farrah Fawcett hair and afros setting the scene. There was no doubt that this was 'Saturday Night Fever' - we know how to do it.
John Shand, The Sydney Morning Herald: This is not a stage musical in the conventional sense, in that, as in the original film, the lead characters don't sing: the music exists for the dancing. Four decades on and John Travolta's performance as Tony Manero? remains a hard act to follow, but Euan Doidge gives it a good nudge. His acting is adequate (the lines allowing little more) and his dancing exceptional, as (perhaps even more so) is that of Melanie Hawkins as Stephanie.
Judith Greenaway, Arts Hub: Superlatives also fail to express the singing and complex characterisation of Angelique Cassimatis as Annette and Ryan Morgan as Bobby, whose disco heartbeats bring genuine rubato to the show. Diva Queen Marcia Hines rules in a swathe of gold, and the four leopard-print and silver sparkle singers who provide much of soundtrack are seamlessly interleaved into the production (though in the main, the singing stands apart from the action).
Jade Kops, BroadwayWorld: Heavy use of technology in the form of LED backdrops to present scenes of Brooklyn brownstones, the 2001 Odyssey Discothèque, and the Verrazzano-Narrows Bridge between Staten Island and Brooklyn is in stark contrast to the few traditional set pieces and real curtains that are used, making the work somewhat sterile and disconnected.William Roache's costuming for the dancers is fabulously flashy but there are anomalies with the accuracies of the era with Tony and his gang in relatively skinny jeans rather than the wide bottom pants of the age and some of the fittings look like they could use some tweaking from the costume department.
Suzy Wrong, Suzy Goes See: Leading man Euan Doidge is a very average actor in the role of Tony Manero, but thankfully shows himself to be a sensational dancer, and doubtless for many an audience member, a real looker. Even with the completely disco-erroneous short haircut and tight trousers, Doidge is a breathtaking specimen who almost has us forgiving everything. His dance partner is the impossibly perfect Melanie Hawkins, who makes every one of Stephanie Mangano's entrances look like an angel descending from above. Club DJ Monty is played by the thoroughly engaging Tim 'Timomatic' Omaji, who absolutely shines in the supporting role, with timing and moves that have us eating out of his palm. All the hits are sung marvellously, mainly by a fantastic group of four (Natalie Conway, Paulini Curuenavuli, Bobby Fox and Nana Matapule), but there is no denying the superstar power of Marcia Hines, who is called upon to inspire awe with each of her brief appearances.