If you’re nostalgic for the era of disco, the Bee Gees, and lapels wider than the Washington St. bike lanes — and if you don’t have any plans going into the weekend — let us direct you to the Booth Tarkington Civic Theatre, where a team of high school students are putting on a live stage adaptation of the 1970s classic “Saturday Night Fever”.
Produced by the Civic Theatre’s Young Artist Program, which involves high school students from all around central Indiana, the show will run from July 29th through August 1st. This program is meant to help students to develop their skills in theatre, preparing them for college auditions and more.
This year, the YAP production of “Saturday Night Fever” includes two of the original Broadway cast members, Anne and her husband, Scott Beck. Both Becks were in the 1999 opening performance of the show at Minskoff Theatre in New York, where they met. This time around Anne is the director and choreographer of the production, and she and Scott play protagonist Tony Manero’s parents.
Anne has been the YAP Coordinator with the Civic Theatre since 2009, when she choregraphed its production of “Little Shop of Horrors.” “Saturday Night Fever” was planned for 2020, but postponed due to the pandemic.
With opening night now set for Thursday, July 29, Anne said she’s looking forward to seeing the result of her young artists’ hard work. This is also the first show since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic where the Civic Theatre has been allowed a full audience.
“I’m also super excited to feel the vibe of a full house in the audience,” Anne wrote in an email. “With Bee Gees music, disco music playing, and the show’s fun nature, it is going to be an electric room.”
“I love my job and bringing out the best of their individuality and diverse natures,” she continued. “YAP is a very safe and inclusive place as well. Once kids have experienced YAP fully, they cannot wait to come back again and again.”
YAP features students of various levels of experience, which according to Anne is one of its strengths. She described how rewarding it is to see up close their commitment both as a group and individually.
“They help each other. They lift one another up. They applaud one another,” Anne wrote. “I am extremely proud of them learning the 1970s era movement-wise, [the] Brooklyn accents, how to build a character and know what you want in a scene, but I am most proud of the work ethic they gained, how dedicated to rehearsals.”
Find more information about the YAP’s production of “Saturday Night Fever” at civictheatre.org.