Wanted: SA’s John Travolta

Tony Manero was king. In the 1970s disco era there were no bigger moves, no bigger sounds than those of John Travolta and Saturday Night Fever. The strutting, the energy, the suit, the hair, the music … nobody could do Tony Manero quite like Travolta…. right…..?

Do you have the moves, the voice and the extraordinary charisma to beat Travolta at his own game? Auditions for the Pretoria State Theatre’s production of Saturday Night Fever, which will be staged in September and October, will be held from Monday, January 25. This production of Saturday Night Fever will be a new, original production with a completely South African creative team and cast – all of whom will need to be able to sing as well as recreate the iconic dance moves of the disco era.

“Saturday Night Fever has been described as ‘the quintessential disco musical’ in the past,” says executive producer Bernard Jay, “but I think it’s time to take a new look at it from a distance. There are iconic moments – created in the ’70s by the Bee Gees’ music and John Travolta in the movie – that must remain. But then we’re greatly looking forward to splashing out with our own look at the Saturday nightlife in an energy-defining era.”

“We went back to the screenplay and edited it down,” says Sean Cercone, one of the writers – with David Abbinanti – credited with the updated version of the show, recently tried out in the USA.

“We had to make a decision as to whether the songs were furthering the plot, just a performance piece, or commenting on the characters’ lives. Ultimately, the songs needed to further the plot or be sounds of the club. The songs needed to carry the emotional journey, or else it’s not a musical.”

Saturday Night Fever will be directed by award-winning Greg Homann, with choreography by the multi-talented Weslee Swain Lauder and musical direction by Naledi award winner Rowan Bakker.

“The biggest challenge right now,” Jay admits, “is to discover a new, youthful, highly charismatic South African actor / singer / dancer who will then have the opportunity to become a dazzling theatre star by playing the demanding role of Tony Manero.”

Do you think you have what it takes to fill these fast-moving shoes? If so, email your details to auditions@bernardjay.co.za.

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