Iyage 8-The Michigan Daily-Wednesday, April 14, 1993
y by. John R. Rybock
With the possible exception of Dan
Quayle and the road-crossing chicken,
nothing this century has been the butt of
more punchlines than "Saturday Night
Fever." But past the disco image, it
really is a good movie. Honest, I swear.
This is the movie John Travolta is
best known for - as the white suit-
wearing, pelvis-shaking, finger-point-
ing, funky white boy Tony Manero. But
while the image of John Travolta strut-
Saturday Night Fever
Directed by John Badham; screenplay
by Norman Wexler; with John Travolta
and Karen Lynn Gorney.
ting to the Bee Gees sticks in people's
minds, the character of Tony, and in fact
the whole movie, involves much more.
Tony is part of a poor, very Catholic
Italian family in New York. Every meal
turns into an argument, and his family is
basically "dysfunctional" (read "nor-
mal"). He's 19 years old, working in a
paint store, and looking to get out of the
life which he hates. It is the basic young
man angst tale that has been told a
million times. Tony finds himself drift-
ing apart, from his "friends," and sees
himself stuck in anowherejob, working
with people who'ye been there for 15
years. Is that his future?
Tony meets fellow dancer Stephanie
(Karen Lynn Gorney), and together,
they team up for a dance contest. Their
relationship cannot be explained sim-
ply -they argue, they make eyes at
each other, they kiss. It's more screwed
upthan any I've seen in awhile. Though
the way thefilmmakersleave the couple
at the end is both upbeat and refreshing.
Tony, not disco, is the central focus.
of the film. Disco is simply a means for
Tony to seek a brief escape from his
tired life. But if you're a fan of disco,
there should be enough here to tickle
your ears and move your feet. Even if
you don't like disco, this movie may
make you a fan -the entire soundtrack
seems taken out of a "'70s Greatest
Disco Hits for $19.95" commercial.
And hey, when they play Beethoven or
Stravinsky to a disco beat, who can
resist snapping their fingers?
Of course, the cynic in all of us can
enjoy this movie by playing "Mystery
Science Theater - the Home Game."
Perms everywhere you look (and that's
just the men), platform shoes high
enough to put Spud Webb at eye level
with Shaq, and collars so big you could
glide with them all seem to say that the
death of the disco era was a justifiable
"Saturday Night Fever," which is
playing at the Michigan Theater to-
This is the movie John
Travolta is best known
for - as the white suit-
white boy Tony Manero.
night, is a must see for everyone. Disco
folks, who have probably seen the film
more than once before, can try to catch
a few new moves. Students of Ameri-
can culture and curiosity seekers can
view it as archival footage of an age
long gone. And anyone leaving the the-
ater with disco fever can cha-cha their
way across East Liberty to the Nectar-
ine Ballroom, and bask in the glory
known as disco night.
SA TURDAYNIGHT FEVER is
playing at the Michigan Theater
tonight at 7:20.
All my troubles seemed so far away
American opera didn't begin with Glass and Corigliano, you know. This weekend the Papagena Opera Company presents Leonard Bernstein's jazzy one-
act opera, "Trouble in Tahiti." The work later became part of Bernstein's "A Quiet Place," which was the first American opera ever performed at La
Scala. Plus, Papagena will perform selections of other Bernstein works such as "Candide," "Our Town" and his orgiastic "Mass." Shows are Thursday
through Thursday through Saturday at 8 p.m. Sunday at 4 p.m. at the Kerrytown Concert House. Tickets are $10 to $20, with a $5 discount for students. Call
Write for Summer Arts
for information about writing for music, fine arts,
books, theater or film,
call Megan or Nima at 763-0379
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John Travolta, whose career ended with "Grease," tries to look confident.
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