‘Saturday Night Fever’ at Pittsburgh Musical Theater; Pittsburgh Ballet Stages ‘Peter Pan’ (Sat., 2/13/16)

1) The original, R-rated Saturday Night Fever, (musical) by Nan Knighton, Arlene Phillips, Paul Nicholas, and Robert Stigwood, adapted from the movie, is one hell of a movie, with an authentic street feel and explicitly rough scenes that transcend disco glitz and have helped to put the film on many lists of all-time favorites. However, those same qualities made the movie unsuitable as family entertainment—which led to PG versions with some scenes removed, and, later, a stage musical cleansed of nudity, profanity, and violence. Pittsburgh Musical Theater is performing this family-friendly Saturday Night Fever, a show that has turned out to be quite popular in its own right. You still get a grown-up cast singing and dancing to the Bee Gees’ soundtrack, and most of the story is preserved, in a version rated OK for just about anyone. 7:30 p.m. Continues through February 21. Byham Theater, 101 6th St., Cultural District. (MV)

2) Speaking of childhood throwback entertainment: Who doesn’t like Peter Pan? Well, Captain Hook doesn’t, but he has graciously agreed to dance with Peter, Wendy, and the gang in Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre’s production of the classic J.M. Barrie story. Barrie’s stage play Peter Pan opened in London in 1904. Later on, for reasons that perhaps social psychologists could explain, the tale of the boy who wouldn’t grow up became immensely popular in America during the 1950s, as Walt Disney’s animated movie and a Broadway musical both scored big. Canadian choreographer Jorden Morris created the ballet in 2006. He has removed the ethnic stereotyping that plagued the Disney film (and Barrie’s original). And, since the basic Peter Pan story has plenty of physical action, it proves to be highly danceable. The ballet includes aerial acrobatics, because remember: This kid can fly. 8 p.m. Performances through February 21. Benedum Center, 237 7th St., Cultural District. (MV)


3) The Choice  Nicholas Sparks is a one-man entertainment juggernaut. The man has written 18 romance novels,10 of which have been turned into movies with a combined worldwide gross of $866 million … not bad when you consider that the critical reception for each has been, to put it diplomatically, unkind. Maybe The Choice will break the mold. It’s based on a 2007 novel about a young couple, Travis and Gabby, and how their great love relationship is tested when … no, I can’t tell you, it’ll just upset you and you’ll wanna save those tears for the movie. Ross Katz directs Benjamin Walker and Teresa Palmer as our little lovebirds, with Tom Welling and Tom Wilkinson popping up to provide emotional support. Check Fandango for screens and times. (TH)

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Rick Handler

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