Executive Producer Bernard Jay is proud to announce the completion of casting for South Africa’s first ‘non-replica’, professional production of the legendary disco musical, Saturday Night Fever. “We have an absolutely fabulous, world class company of all South African artists,” says Jay. “The crème-de-la-crème of the amazing pool of musical theatre talent we have in this country.”
Leading the company on stage at the Opera Theatre of the Pretoria State Theatre from September 13th will be Daniel Buys as Tony Manero, Natasha Van Der Merwe as Stephanie Mangano, Matthew Berry as Bobby C, L J Neilson as Annette, Craig Urbani as Frank Manero, Charmaine Weir-Smith as Flo Manero, Bongi Mthombeni as Monty and Kiruna-Lind Devar as Pauline. Also featured in the all-star cast are Joanna Abatzoglou, Cameron Botha, Vanessa Brierley, Londiwe Dhlomo, Keaton Ditchfield, Toni Jean Erasmus, Devon Flemmer, Zane Gillion, Nurit Graff, Nathan Kruger, Sebe Leotlela, Clint Lesch, Brandon Lindsay, Phumi Mncayi, Raquel Munn, Mark Richardson, Phillip Schnetler and Steven van Wyk.
Winning the highly coveted role of the iconic Tony Manero – made legendary in the 1977 movie starring John Travolta – Daniel Buys (Mamma Mia!, Jersey Boys, West Side Story) declared “my inner Bee Gee just came out at the auditions!”.
Saturday Night Fever is presented by The South African State Theatre and Bernard Jay, in association with Jacaranda FM and MNet Channel 101. Direction is by award-winning Greg Homann (A Voice I Cannot Silence), choreography is by Weslee Swain Lauder, musical direction by Rowan Bakker (this year’s Naledi Award Best Musical Director for Sister Act), with set and lighting design by Denis Hutchinson, costume design by Sarah Roberts and sound design by Trevor Peters.
The original stage musical of Saturday Night Fever was based on Nik Cohn’s 1975 New York Magazine article Tribal Rites of the New Saturday Night and the 1977 film. The famous Bee Gees score – one of the best-selling movie soundtracks of all time – includes Stayin’ Alive, Disco Inferno, Night Fever, More Than a Woman, If I Can’t Have You, Nights on Broadway, How Deep is Your Love and Tragedy. The State Theatre’s production is a new version of the show adapted by American writers Sean Cercone and David Abbinanti: “We went back to the screenplay and edited it down,” says Cercone. “The songs needed to carry the emotional journey.”
This show is the second in an ambitious programme of musical shows put together by the State Theatre’s Artistic Director, Aubrey Sekhabi, and producer Bernard Jay to showcase the national asset that is the Opera Theatre in Pretoria. Following Saturday Night Fever will be The Greatest Love of All – The Whitney Houston Show, starring Belinda Davids, and the South African premier of the current Broadway sensation, the musical The Color Purple, to be directed by Janice Honeyman.
Saturday Night Fever previews at the Opera Theatre from September 13th, with its official Opening Night set for September 16th. The season runs until October 9th. Tickets are on sale now at Computicket from R150.