Many have tried — and failed — to imitate the dance move that catapulted John Travolta to super-stardom.
We’ve seen them on the dancefloor: hip-cocked, arm raised, finger pointing rhythmically to the ceiling, all of them channelling Travolta’s gifted dance king, Tony Manero, from the 1977 classic Saturday Night Fever.
But Euan Doidge, the actor who’ll fill Travolta’s shoes in the musical adaptation, which premier’s at Sydney’s Lyric Theatre on March 27, intends to do justice to the king’s footsteps.
“I just wanted to get in there and give it a red hot go because it is such an iconic film,” Doidge told The Sunday Telegraph.
“You know people are going to love it and enjoy it purely for that music and (the) story that’s told. I mean, when was the last show that came to Australia (a) full on disco?”
Good question. Popularised in the 1970s and championed by the Bee Gees, the genre enjoyed stratospheric popularity until about the mid-1980s, when a new wave of hair metal, then grunge and dance hits, began to take over the airwaves.
Its best tracks were made famous by the film — Stayin’ Alive and Night Fever — and some are still enjoyed today, albeit with a healthy blend of nostalgia and irony.
Doidge’s offsider and long-time friend Melanie Hawkins will play Stephanie Mangano, the female lead who partners with 19-year-old Tony at the club and, like him, yearns to escape from her working-class Brooklyn neighbourhood.
“After the auditions both of us had a good feeling about it”, Hawkins said.
“I can’t wait to play a woman who is strong and ballsy but also to dance like that after doing so many musicals is really exciting,” said Hawkins.
Doidge said: “The cast is unbelievable and everyone gets to shine in what they do best.”
The brand new production has already been performed in Paris and, for Australian audiences, promises newly-styled choreography, more songs, and, yes, more dancing.
“It’s definitely a bucket list show. It really is, it’s the ultimate,” Hawkins said.