September 29, 2023
A&E | Lake County Journal

A&E | Lake County Journal

Critic’s Choice: ‘Saturday Night Fever’ sizzles at Drury Lane

Erica Stephan and Adrian Aguilar practice their dance moves in this scene from “Saturday Night Fever” at Drury Lane Theatre. Photo by Brett Beiner

OAKBROOK TERRACE – Drury Lane Theatre has a winner on its hands with its latest production, an updated version of the 1970s disco musical “Saturday Night Fever.”

The nostalgia-inducing show, directed and choreographed by Dan Knechtges, is powered by memorable Bee Gees hits as “Stayin’ Alive,” “Night Fever,” “Jive Talkin’,” and “How Deep Is Your Love,” among others. Roberta Duchak provides music direction.

In the program notes, Knechtges observes: “It doesn’t take much time to connect the social and political climate of 1977 Brooklyn to the present: racial strife, class conflict and economic woes. When the state of the world sometimes seems stranger than fiction, it is more crucial than ever to use art, dance and music as a tool for release in these unusual times.”

“Saturday Night Fever” has a supercharged cast led by Adrian Aguilar as the charismatic Tony Manero, a popular Italian-American teen who quits his menial job at a Brooklyn paint store in order to compete for the grand prize in a dance contest; Erica Stephan as Stephanie, an accomplished singer and dancer who pairs up with Tony; and Landree Fleming as the forlorn Annette, who dreams of a romantic relationship with Tony.

Other principal characters include Nick Cosgrove (Bobby C.), Joe Capstick (Joey), Will Lidke (Gus) and Brandon Springman (Double J) with Alex Newell (Candy), Jhardon DiShon Milton (Monty), Allyson Graves (Pauline), Skyler Adams (Frank Manero Jr.), Marya Grandy (Flo Manero), Olivia Renteria (Linda Manero) and Bret Tuomi (Frank Manero/Fusco).

The talented ensemble also includes Tony Carter, Courtney Cerny, Brian M. Duncan, Michael Samarie George, Ron King, Amanda Newman, Martín Ortíz Tápia, Adrienne Storrs, Monica Thomas and Aaron Umsted.

“Saturday Night Fever” is based on a 1977 Paramount/RSO film and the story by Nik Cohn. It was adapted for the stage by Robert Stigwood in collaboration with Bill Oaks, and the North American version is the work of Sean Cercone and David Abbinanti.

Credit Kevin Depinet for scenic design, Rachel Laritz for costume design, Ryan O’Gara for lighting and Ray Nardell for sound.

If you go . . .

What: 'Saturday Night Fever'

Where: Drury Lane Theatre, 100 Drury Ln., Oakbrook Terrace

When: through March 19

Tickets: $45 to $60

Info: (630) 530-0111