Theatre

Drury Lane Theatre announces a three-week extension of its new production of disco musical Saturday Night Fever that has been burning up the box office and electrifying sold-out audiences.  Saturday Night Fever now runs thru April 9, 2017 at Drury Lane Theatre, 100 Drury Lane in Oakbrook Terrace. 

 

Don’t miss out on the hottest ticket in town! This critically-acclaimed new version, rewritten for the Drury Lane stage, features music and lyrics by The Bee Gees, based on the smash-hit Paramount/RSO Film and the story by Nik Cohn, andadapted for the stage by Robert Stigwood in collaboration with Bill Oaks. This North American version was written by Sean Cercone and David Abbinanti and is helmed by Tony-nominated director and choreographer Dan Knechtges with musical direction by Roberta Duchak. Tickets, priced $43 - $60 are available by calling 630.530.0111 or at DruryLaneTheatre.com. 

 

Alex Newell (Glee) joined the cast of Saturday Night Fever in the role of disco singer Candy. He stars alongside Adrian Aguilar as Brooklyn teen Tony Manero and Erica Stephan as Stephanie Mangano. Newell is an actor and singer best known for playing the transgender student Wade “Unique” Adams on the Fox musical series Glee. He has also appeared at the North Shore Music Theater and is a recording artist with Atlantic Records.

 

Based on the 1977 hit film, Saturday Night Fever follows Tony Manero in his attempt to escape his troubles by spending weekends at the local disco. Watch Tony win the admiration of the crowd, as well as his heartthrob Stephanie Mangano, as he burns up the dance floor with his electric moves. This new production features favorite Bee Gees songs from the movie such as “Night Fever,” "Stayin' Alive,” and "Jive Talkin’.”

 

To accommodate the extension of Saturday Night Fever, Drury Lane's electrifying new production of Chicago, featuring a book by Fred Ebb and Bob Fosse, music by John Kander, lyrics by Fred Ebb, and based on the play by Maurine Dallas Watkins, will now run April 20 – June 18, 2017.  The Press Opening is Friday, April 28, 2017 at 8:00 p.m. This fiery new take on Chicago is directed by Drury Lane Theatre’s Artistic Director William Osetek with choreography by Jane Lanier, the Tony-nominated student of Bob Fosse.

 

Published in Buzz Extra

Deemed by the American Film Institute as “one of the funniest movies of all time”, Young Frankenstein was bound to hit the live stage at some point. Finally, in 2007, creator Mel Brooks adapted his 1974 film for stage where, after a premier run in Seattle, the show hit Broadway where Young Frankenstein: The Musical got mixed results. Now, after a couple national tours, the show has found a new temporary home at the Drury Lane Theatre in Oakbrook. Drury Lane’s artistic director, William Osetek, took on the tough task of taking a show that didn’t exactly set the world on fire for most critics and making it his own in the hopes of making it more entertaining and relatable for the audience. Well, he did exactly that. Emphasizing on family and inner kindness and love, a perfect balance is created that makes the slapstick and silly humor work like a well-oiled machine without ever becoming overbearing. Mel Brooks should be very happy with this production.

Young Frankenstein: The Musical is the latest Drury Lane success story. The show has a slew of funny characters, songs that have plenty of laugh-out-loud moments, creative dance numbers, a stunning set with plenty of sound and visual effects and of course – a monster.

Ashamed of his family business that has gone on for many generations, Frederick “Fronkensteen” has tried very hard to remove himself from anything that has to do with life-giving experiments and his true Frankenstein name, and flees to New York where he becomes a Dean of Anatomy and enjoys lecturing his students on the brain. Shortly thereafter, he learns he has inherited his grandfather Victor Frankenstein’s castle and heads back to Transylvania. He is immediately met by Igor, who comes from generations of castle henchmen and urges Frederick to continue in his grandfather’s footsteps. Frederick picks up Inga, his new bombshell assistant and quickly realizes he is cut from the same cloth as his grandfather. But bringing back the dead is far from a perfect science as he finds out when his monster wakes with the IQ of a grape and shows bits of uncontrolled anger. Hijinks and hilarity ensues as Frederick scrambles to make things right while the townspeople want the monster destroyed.

There are just so many fantastic performances in this show across the board, but Devin DeSantis absolutely hits on all cylinders as “Dr. Frederick Frankenstein”. His comic timing is flawless and he simply takes charge of his role – and has fun with it. Jeff Dumas as “Igor” gets a ton of laughs because – well, the guy is just plain funny, and Allison Still as “Inga” is dynamite, especially when she gets to show off her vast vocal range in “Roll in the Hay”. But you can’t have a worthy production of Young Frankenstein: The Musical without a strong portrayal of the monster and Travis Taylor hit this challenge out of the park. Complete with 4-inch platform shoes, heavy makeup and plenty of bulky padding, Taylor is still able to gracefully dance to perfection in some pretty complicated choreographed routines. Taylor also adds the humor and charm needed to make the role effective.      

Young Frankenstein: The Musical is quick witted with plenty of one-liners and silly songs somewhat reminiscent to Spamalot. The humor from the classic film translates well to the live stage because it is performed well and it is ageless. It’s the perfect show to take one’s mind off our record breaking cold winter.

Young Frankenstein: The Musical is playing at Drury Lane Theatre in Oakbrook through March 16th. Depending on the seat and show, tickets range at a very reasonable $35-$49. For tickets and/or more show information, visit www.DruryLane.com or call 630-530-0111.              

Published in Theatre Reviews

 

 

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