What makes this version of Saturday Night Fever different
Top photo: Brandon Rubendall and Jenna Rubaii/Bottom photo: Carla Guevarra-Laforteza and Nelle Gomez

Most, if not all, of us have seen John Travolta own the dance floor in the movie version of “Saturday Night Fever” back in 1977.

The movie focused on Troy Manero, played by Travolta in the movie, as he tries to make it big in a discotheque in Brooklyn. Manero then meets Stephanie Mangano, played by Karen Lynn Gorney, and they form the best dancing duo on the disco floor.

The film, in fact, was so influential that it was made into a musical 21 years after its premiere, in 1998. 17 years and several variations and cast changes later, we are treated to a reworked version of the musical. So, what makes this one unique from the previous versions of the “Saturday Night Fever” musicals?

For one, the cast members this time around agree that this is the closest the musical can get in matching the original movie version.

“We brought it down to the raw essence when it comes to the scenes,” said Nelle Gomez, who’s playing Joey in “Saturday Night Fever”. “You just see scenes blend into one another…that is the magic with theater,” Nelle added.

“With this version, it is still there [the “gloss” usually found in musicals], but they definitely made it more realistic. That’s why it’s more like movie,” Jenna Rubaii said, who will be reprising Mangano’s role.

“It’s really special because it is real and we get to dance and have a good time at the disco and at the same time we get to pour our hearts out with our roles with raw emotion,” Brandon Rubendall added, who will be reprising Manero’s role.

Given these, what can everyone expect in this version of “Saturday Night Fever”?

“A lot of heart,” Rubendall said.

“Lots of dancing, [and] lots of singing,” said Carla Guevarra-Laforteza, who’s playing two roles: As Troy’s mother Flo Manero, and as the pub singer.

“You have everything you will see in a Broadway stage, and more,” Carla added, emphasizing that this version of “Saturday Night Fever” consists of a broad range of talents, from Broadway actors to local talents.

“Saturday Night Fever” will be having its Manila run at The Theater, Solaire Resort and Casino, ASEANA Avenue, Paranaque City from July 3 to July 26. Tickets can be purchased at Ticketworld outlets, or at www.ticketworld.com.ph.