I was at the opening night of the Saturday Night Fever The Musical in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia on Friday night. This is not the original or Revival version, the song list is similar to the 2014 UK Tour Production that premiered in Bath, England with different casting. The main character Tony Manero is played by Brandon Rubendall, who pulled it off perfectly.
I got to meet him and Carla Guevara-Laforteza at the end of the musical during the backstage tour.
Yeah, I was lucky enough to get a media and backstage pass, courtesy of Nuffnang (thanks Jack and Samantha!) and it was an awesome performance by the cast overall. A lot of the cast came from Broadway backgrounds in New York.
This is the second time I’ve seen Saturday Night Fever and during the first, I never heard the word “spic” and was quite surprised to hear it here.
That word is considered a racial slur nowadays, along with the n-word (though the latter did not make an appearance due to its offensiveness to every single culture). My theory is that not many Malaysians are familiar with the term – interestingly, the term is missing from Strictly Ballroom The Musical, but IIRC appears in the movie version.
I managed to get an official Saturday Night Fever The Musical fridge magnet for my dear.
The opening night of Saturday Night Fever The Musical was slightly marred by bad weather – it was flooding in some places and visibility was down to almost zero but it started more or less on time. There were constant interruptions in terms of people who came in but I thought the ushers did a pretty good job in waiting until musical numbers were done before getting the late-comers seated.
I actually didn’t know that we could take photos or I would have brought my dSLR. We were allowed to take photos and videos not exceeding 2 minutes during the first four (4) numbers. I managed to use my better half’s iPhone to do it, my apologies for the quality.
The seating was perfect too – the tickets we were allocated were VIP tickets so it was right in the middle of the action. Istana Budaya has pretty good acoustics too and I thought the cast did a really good job.
I was impressed by the special effects too – there was a sequence which simulated a train going by right after the death of a character (don’t consider this a spoiler since everyone knows the plot by now) and it did so very realistically with the video screens, strobe effects and the metal scaffolding of the bridge, which we later got to see close up.
There is no rape scene in this production though so I thought it was a bit confusing to new viewers for continuity and the end scene isn’t as impactful because of that.
We got to go for a backstage tour after the musical too – it was led by one of the cast members and we got the see the props and set up close.
Here’s a video of the backstage, cast and interesting facts about the production.
I loved the backstage tour, I thought I’ll give everyone a glimpse of the magic that goes into a production so here’s your backstage pass!
I got a photo with the lead character of Saturday Night Fever The Musical – Brandon Rubendall (Tony Manero)!
He was nice and kind enough to do the signature pose with me, which prompted another guy to ask me to re-take a photo with him doing that as well.
Saturday Night Fever The Musical runs from 4th – 13th September 2015 in Istana Budaya, KL. You can get your tickets from Milestone Productions by calling 03-9222 8811. Tickets starts from RM 138. I highly recommend it if you like musicals and if you loved the original movie featuring John Travolta.