Theatre Review: Dirty Dancing- first ever national tour

Dirty Dancing is one of my all time favourite girlie movies, so when it was announced as a musical I wasn’t sure what to expect. I sadly didn’t see the show while it was in the West End. I’d heard mixed reviews from the critics and a few friends, but I was determinded to make up my own mind.

The classic story stars the late Patrick Swayze as Johnny Castle, any leading man has huge boots to fill following in his footsteps. Paul-Michael Jones did an awesome job he’s clearly a very good dancer and I think he portrayed Johnny well he had a great stage presence. Johnny is a cocky character and he showed this well. Dirty Dancing focuses on the Summer of 1963 when the Houseman family take a holiday to Kellerman’s.

I love the film, it’s a classic I’ve grown up with thanks to my mum. My only criticisms of the musical are that Baby dressed a little too modern especially at the beginning of the show and the first half could have flowed a little better. On the whole I loved the show all the classic lines and characters are there for you to remember and enjoy, I found myself forgetting certain parts and going aww as I’d remember. The chemistry between Jill Winteritz (Baby) and Paul-Michael Jones (Johnny) was impressive and very believable. The casting director definitely struck gold with Nicky Griffiths who plays the feisty Penny Johnson, she’s a fantastic dancer and a brilliant actress she portrays the wayward dancer exceptionally well.

If I’m honest the main reason I finally got around to seeing the show was because of Wayne Smith. I’ve seen Wayne as Pharaoh in Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat and as Bob Crewe in Jersey Boys. He is an amazing entertainer, he plays Billy Kostecki- Johnny’s cousin he’s very funny. He also got to sing ‘In The Still Of The Night (I’ll Remember)’ It was a real pleasure to hear him sing again.

Die hard Dirty Dancing fans may feel a little disappointed by the fact that Patrick Swayze’s classic ‘She’s Like The Wind’ only gets a small instrumental.

I don’t want to spoil too much but I really enjoyed the lead up to that oh so classic line “No one puts baby in the corner.” Watching the film again has made me realise how much truly went into the stageshow. If you’re looking for a real girls night out then look no further than Dirty Dancing the musical.

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