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Mario Bautista, has been with the entertainment industry for more than 4 decades. He writes regular columns for People's Journal and Malaya.

Jul 8, 2015

Saturday Night Fever' Musical At Solaire Features Great Dancing To The Hit Songs Of The Bee Gees

DON'T MISS the rousing musical "Saturday Night Fever" now being shown at the Theatre at Solaire Resort Hotel every weekend up to July 26. We saw it with our apo, Jane, and she enjoyed dancing to the music and songs of the Bee Gees. "Saturday Night Fever" became a big hit movie in 1977 starring John Travolta as Tony Manero, a young man who thinks his life is at a dead end while working in a paint store in Brooklyn. The stage version was first seen in London's West End in 1998 then taken to Broadway in 2000.

Tony forgets the harsh realities of his life (his dad is a jobless drunkard and his elder brother leaves the priesthood) and comes fully alive only when he is dancing on Saturday nights at the local disco club, where everyone admires him for his dancing skills. He then gets caught up in a love triangle. His dance partner, Annette, is madly in love with him but he gets attracted to a new girl, Stephanie, an office worker in Manhattan who thinks she's above the rest and acts like a snotty bitch but eventually also falls for Tony.

The opening number is the big 70s hit, "Staying Alive", featuring live wire dancing from the whole ensemble. Hit after hit of familiar Bee Gees disco songs follow. The songs catapulted the movie sound track then as one of the best selling soundtracks of all time. This includes "You Should Be Dancing", "Night Fever", "Jive Talking" and "How Deep is Your Love", all given new arrangements and rendered beautifully by the entire cast.

Of course, to make the musical a more family-friendly show, many of the movie's darker elements were edited out, like drug use, racial conflict and some violent moments. But the language is not totally sanitized as you still hear a lot of obscenities and four-letter words, and there's also a suicide scene when someone jumps off the Brooklyn Bridge.

Imported Broadway actor Brandon Rubendall is a bit old for the role (Manero is supposed to be 19) but he can be so mesmerizing when he is dancing with his fantastic foot work and lithe body movements. Jenna Rubaii is similarly a delight to watch on the dance floor and also has a better singing voice. They're supported by homegrown performers who are all splendid, including Rafa Siguon Reyna, Yanah Laurel, Jamie Wilson and Carla Guevarra Laforteza. If you love theater, don't miss this great production of "Saturday Night Fever" as you'll surely enjoy it.