by Shannon Beach
For me, Saturday Night Fever was an experience that I consider to be life changing. The original Broadway cast consisted of 44 insanely talented members from around the country and it was magic when we were brought together. We opened at the Minskoff Theater on October 21, 1999 and are about to celebrate our 20th anniversary by performing the closing number as a flash mob on Saturday October 5, 2019 right in front of the red stairs of the TKTS booth. There will be 42 cast members from the Broadway and First National Touring companies doing the original choreography!
Saturday Night Fever ran for a year and a half on Broadway and a year and a half on tour. Thinking about my time with the show floods my memory with joyous laughter, the most amazing people and some of the most fun times in my life. The friendships made during these days are precious, defining a time that only we know because we experience it together. When this 20th year arrived, I knew something big had to happen to celebrate this crazy experience we all shared.
Since we’re all spread out around the world at this point, I knew I had to use social media to reach everyone. We started rehearsals in July of 1999, so I wanted my first post to go out in July for a clear full circle moment. The response was like fire! It was obvious everyone was ready for the party. I wanted to make sure the cast, booth singers, stage management, wardrobe, hair department, crew - everyone - knew about it and was invited to participate. My giant spreadsheet has kept all the details organized and with almost 100 people that I’ve connected with. There’s a lot of details!
On Saturday, we are meeting for rehearsals in the Minskoff lobby right before heading out into Times Square. Being back in our old theater warms my heart in an indescribable way. We have 20 years of stories to tell and yet we need to be focused so the flash mob will be fabulous. Stories will have to wait for dinner which we’ll have to right after the performance. Many of our cast members are now Tony Award nominees and winners and went on to direct, choreograph and appear in some of Broadway’s most successful shows. My path took me to Los Angeles where I spent 10 years touring with Cher, Pink, Britney Spears, Leona Lewis and Taylor Swift, and continue to work in TV, film and commercials.
We’ve now been through all of life together: marriages, divorces, kids and unfortunately, we’ve lost a few along the way. There was no knowing this show was going to be so defining of our lives. Every person was such a unique character on the adventure and I can’t imagine it any other way. On Saturday, there might be a noticeable rise in the volume of laughter in Times Square; that will be the Saturday Night Fever reunion in full effect!