Adrian Aguilar Shows Star Power In Drury Lane’s Saturday Night Fever
Reviewed by: Russell Goeltenbodt
Being at an age where I remember the 1977 Robert Stigwood film Saturday Night Fever, I can recall the great music by the Bee Gees and going to the dance clubs after seeing the movie. My friends and I would go out and buy the clothes, then watch the movie several times so we could learn the latest dance moves. Everyone wanted to be cool like Tony Manero, (John Travolta). After seeing Saturday Night Fever (The Musical) at the Drury Lane Theatre Oakbrook, I happily revisited those enjoyable times from so long ago.
The story behind Saturday Night Fever is not very compelling. It is about a young man named Tony from a Brooklyn Italian family who has no real goals other than being the best dancer at the disco. His family is a little dysfunctional. Tony’s parents are in their own world and really have no idea what is happening beyond their front door. Tony’s older brother is a Catholic priest who leaves the priesthood to pursue a more fulfilling life. Tony’s friends are busy looking cool and fighting the rival neighborhood gang. Tony’s friend Annette is interested in Tony, but Tony is only interested with being the best dancer and having the best dance partner, which unfortunately isn’t Annette. However, even though the story is somewhat weak, Saturday Night Fever (The Musical) is very entertaining.
The extremely talented musical cast of singers and dancers make this show enjoyable. Adrian Aguilar who portrays “Tony Manero” is energetic, athletic, and has a strong voice which really makes this show exciting. Adrian’s high energy carries through the entire performance. Erica Stephan who plays Tony’s dance partner and love interest “Stephanie”, gives a wonderful performance with graceful dancing and a powerful voice. Landree Fleming who plays “Annette” gives an excellent performance as the girl who wants the love she can’t have. The rest of the ensemble which includes Nick Cosgrove, Joe Capstick, Will Lidke, Brandon Springman, Alex Newell, Jhardon Dishon Milton, Allyson Graves, Skylar Adams, Marya Grandy, and Brett Tuomi does not disappoint. This wonderful cast support each other with sensational voices and dancing which add to making the performance energetic and enjoyable. However, there is no doubt that Adrian Aguilar is truly the star of this show. His performance is outstanding and remarkable.
The direction and choreography by Tony nominated Dan Knechtges is flawless. The production moves at a good pace and the stage movement and choreography are timed perfectly. The dream sequence at the beginning of the 2nd act was masterfully staged as a ballet. It is really beautiful to see.
Once again, the Drury Lane stage is masterfully transformed into the 2001 Disco by scenic designer Kevin Depinet. Kevin’s stage creation brings the disco to life. Lighting designer, Ryan O’Gara makes this show real creating the fabulously colorful disco lighting with each musical number.
I highly recommend seeing The Drury Lane Theatre Oakbrook production of Saturday Night Fever (The Musical). It brings back many memories with great music and dancing.
Saturday Night Fever (The Musical) is appearing March 19, 2017 at the Drury Lane Theatre 100 Drury Lane Oakbrook Terrace, Il 60181. Performances are Wednesdays 1:30, Thursdays 1:30 & 8 p.m., Fridays 8:00 p.m., Saturdays 5 & 8:30 p.m., Sundays 2 & 6 p.m. Tickets are available through the Drury Lane Theater Box Office. at 630-530-0111, or through Ticketmaster 800-745-3000; or by visiting on line DruryLane Theatre.com. Dinner and show packages are also available.