July 2018

You Will Be Dancin’ – Yeah!

Author: Andrea Gannon

In the late 1970s, the Bee Gees won five Grammys, including Album of the Year with the soundtrack Saturday Night Fever. This legendary group, with a few other artists, ushered in the disco era, and “Stayin’ Alive” became its anthem.

That same mega-hit opens Saturday Night Fever, the Arts Center’s summer musical (through July 29), introducing us to Tony Manero as he struts downstage.
Tony is a young Brooklyn native, known locally for his dance prowess. As he prepares for a dance competition at the discotheque where he’s the reigning Dance King, he falls in love with his partner, Stephanie, and navigates between a disapproving family, a love triangle, and a troubled group of friends.

Based on the 1977 film that became a cultural phenomenon, the electrifying score is packed with hits from the Bee Gees including the classics: “Night Fever,” “Jive Talking,” “You Should Be Dancing” and “How Deep is Your Love?”

The production is directed by Antoinette DiPietropolo, who is new to the Arts Center, but a veteran of the stage, as actor, choreographer and dancer, as well as director. “This entire cast has caught the ‘fever,’ and we’re having so much fun with this show,” she said. “It’s going to be an incredible ride for audiences. It not only has phenomenal and iconic music, but also tells a deeper story of someone yearning for a better life.”

The show was musically directed by Kelly Thomas, another woman at the helm of SNF, who takes command of the orchestra beautifully with songs that span Bee Gees to Kool and the Gang, Walter Murphy to Richard Strauss.

Anthony Crouchelli portrays Tony Manero to perfection: the guy all the girls want to date, and all the guys want to be. Anthony’s credits include the Broadway National Tour of Disney’s Tarzan (as Tarzan), and The Adventures of Tom Sawyer (as Huck Finn). He also played Leopold in Aida at the Metropolitan Opera.

Lisa Kaplin plays Stephanie, his love interest and preferred dance partner. She was in the Broadway First National Tour of Pippin and brings her extraordinary triple threat talent to the stage. Rounding out the love triangle is Haley Hannah, who plays local girl Annette. Haley was in Broadway’s Bring It On and in the First National Tours of Flashdance (understudying the lead role of Alex), and Bring It On.

Part of this stellar cast is winner of American Idol – Season 12, Candice Glover, playing the role—coincidentally—of Candi! A native of nearby St. Helena Island, Glover said she’s thrilled to be making her Arts Center debut with Saturday Night Fever. Glover recently dipped her toe in the Broadway waters with her performance in the play Home for the Holidays, at the August Wilson Theatre this past holiday season.

The lighting design was created by Brian Riley, VP of production, whose impressively rendered effects become almost their own character in the production, accurately reflecting the vintage disco period. Daniel (DT) Willis was scenic designer of this rolling, multi-unit masterpiece that seamlessly transports the audience from discotheque to the Brooklyn Bridge, from the Manero’s kitchen to Tony’s bedroom. The stunning costume design is by Jennifer VanBuskirk, also the Arts Center’s costume shop manager.

Driven by this soul-stirring music, this contemporary retelling of Saturday Night Fever captures the energy, passion and life-changing moments that have thrilled audiences with both its soundtrack and its story. Now, a new generation of dancers meets a new generation of theater-goers to catch the fever with the soaring sounds and pulsating rhythms of this coming-of-age disco fantasy.

Tickets are $50 for adults and $37 for children. Visit artshhi.com or call (843) 842-2787 (ARTS) for tickets! Please be advised that Saturday Night Fever, similar to the movie, contains adult language and situations.

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