6abc Loves the Arts: 'Saturday Night Fever' at the Walnut Street Theatre

Sunday, June 11, 2017 08:50AM
6abc Loves the Arts: Saturday Night Fever. Karen Rogers reports during Action News at 7 a.m. on June 11, 2017.


Put on your boogie shoes! The Walnut Street Theatre has caught Saturday Night Fever.

It's been a stage musical for nearly 20 years, but now there's a brand new production featuring a cast of both Broadway and Philadelphia talent, and it's packed with Bee Gees classics like Staying Alive, Jive Talkin' and Disco Inferno.

"It takes us right back to that that disco era," promises Richard Stafford, director and choreographer of the musical. "It was what people did on Saturday nights and what kids did to let loose."

The Walnut Street Theatre collaborated with a theater in Florida to produce the remake of the hit show, based on Saturday Night Fever, the movie, that became a cultural phenomenon when it was released in 1977.

"It follows it very closely with some twists and some changes and a lot more music," says Stafford.

Saturday Night Fever is the story of Tony Manero, a 19-year-old Brooklyn native with a dead-end job and a difficult dad.

"In order to find that release, yeah he'll go to the disco and he'll party it up pretty hard," jokes Jacob Tischler, the actor who plays Tony.

For Tischler, it's both his Walnut Street Theatre debut and his first lead character role.

"Being a lead in a musical is one of the most extraordinary experiences you will ever have," Tischler says.

As in the movie, Tony meets Stephanie, a dancer, and dreams of escaping Brooklyn and becoming king of the dance floor.

"You want somebody who can make you forget John Travolta," says Stafford, "and that's exactly what Jacob does."

"Boogie Shoes is one of the best songs ever written. It's completely nuts how catchy it is," gushes Tischler, who feels lucky to have landed the role.

"I will wake up in the morning and just say I get to do Boogie Shoes today."

The Walnut Street Theatre is closing out its season with the high energy show that spawned the phrase Burn Baby Burn. "If the stage doesn't catch on fire, then we've done something wrong," says Tischler.

Saturday Night Fever is at the Walnut Street Theatre until July 16th. You can find tickets and show times at Walnut Street Theater.

You can also enter to win a VIP Voucher for two here:
'Saturday Night Fever' Sweepstakes
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