Shows S

SATURDAY NIGHT Music & Lyrics by Stephen Sondheim: Book by Julius J. Epstein Second Stage Theatre, New York February 17, 2000 (45 perfs) Original London production: Bridewell, 17th December, 1997 – 24th January, 1998 Jermyn Street Theatre, London - February 13th – March 14th Transfer: Arts Theatre, London , March 25th – April 11th STORY Saturday Night takes place almost entirely on not one, but three consecutive Saturday nights in the spring of 1929. As the first Saturday night begins, a group of male friends in their early twenties is sitting on the front porch of their friend Gene Gorman's house in Brooklyn. It's a Saturday night and they commiserate about not having dates. Gene enters from upstairs, dressed in tails and ready to gatecrash the Junior League Cotillion at the Plaza Hotel in Manhattan, the place across the river that in his eyes is loaded with class. Gene, a runner on Wall Street, asks his pals for $100 each to buy a hot stock - Montana Chem. Corp. - and promises them that they'll all be rich within a week. Gene's cousin Eugene stops by; he's leaving town for Florida and asks Gene to look after his fancy car, a Pierce-Arrow, while he's gone. Soon after, a married couple, Hank and Celeste, arrive with their friend Mildred; everyone is introduced and the guys argue over what the couplings will be as they head to the movies. Gene arrives at The Plaza where the band singer is singing. As luck would have it, he meets Helen, a girl who is also gatecrashing the party by pretending to be a Southern aristocrat. The two pair up while Helen remarks how "swelegant" the cotillion is. After spending some time together, Gene offers Helen a ride home in his "limousine," the borrowed Pierce-Arrow. Meanwhile, in a cinema in Brooklyn, Gene's friends are arguing over the evening's expenses while Mildred and Celeste comment on how life is better. Later that night everyone gathers again back on the front porch in Brooklyn. An unknown woman calls on the phone for Gene and asks if she can come over. With this mystery woman on her way over, Gene's friends wonder how experienced he is in the art of seduction. The mystery woman soon shows up at the front porch - it's Helen, without her Southern accent. It seems that Gene's driver's license was stuck to the back of the photo he gave her of himself on a yacht in the Mediterranean. Helen, it turns out, is from Brooklyn, too - and the photo of the yacht is actually Gene on a fishing boat in Sheepshead Bay. The two don't care about each other's "real" identities or backgrounds and are just happy to spend time in each other's company as the first Saturday night ends. The next afternoon Gene takes Helen to see an apartment for rent on Sutton Place. Of course he can't afford it, but he leases it anyway, convinced that by the next Saturday he'll have made a killing on the Montana Chem. Corp. tip. During the next week, Gene's stock scheme with Montana Chem. Corp starts collapsing. He's in need of cash and on the next Saturday night, he rashly sells his absent cousin's car. (He's able to do so only because his proper first name is Eugene, just like his cousin's.) Helen hates what he's done but admits to him that she loves him. Original Cast Recording Album Cover The couple announce their engagement to Gene's friends, all of whom, with the exception of Bobby, happily anticipate their wedding. As the group is celebrating, Gene's cousin Eugene unexpectedly returns from Florida. He can't seem to find his car; when Gene lies and tells his cousin that it was stolen, Eugene calls the police. One wonderful day, indeed! Act II begins on the third Saturday night, back on the front porch in Brooklyn. The old gang is together, wondering yet again what to do on a Saturday night. Gene, however, has a lot to do on this particular Saturday night - he's busy being hounded by police detectives. Unluckily for Gene's cousin, the other "Eugene Gorman," he's mistaken for the "Gene Gorman" who went off