Dirty Dancing The Musical – Review
If like me, you are a strong fan of Dirty Dancing the film then you may be a little sceptical about seeing the musical. I wanted to see it, but at the same time I was worried in case they left something out, in case the dialogue wasn’t the same or in case the cast just didn’t do Johnny and Baby justice. Luckily, I found the show amazing.
The film follows seventeen year old good girl Frances ‘Baby’ Houseman on her trip to Kellermans holiday club in 1963 where she meets dirty dancer Johnny Castle and they fall in love, much to the disappointment of Baby’s father. When Johnny’s dance partner Penny gets pregnant and has to pull out of their upcoming shows, Baby takes her place and Johnny teaches her to dance.
The dialogue of the show was exactly the same, which I felt was important, there are some iconic lines in the film and if they were not followed then the musical may not have been so successful.
The music at the beginning of the show automatically puts you in a great mood and you are enticed already, the atmosphere is great and the cast frequently achieved a round of applause from the audience who were clearly impressed. Baby (Jill Winternitz) looked like Baby and she had mastered Baby’s posture and presence well, but her accent could have done with a little more work. Johnny (Paul-Michael Jones) was great and from afar he looked like Johnny, but he did need a bit more of a tan. The chemistry between the cast was genuine and believable. An actress that really deserved recognition was Emilia Williams who played Baby’s sister Lisa Houseman. Emilia was funny, entertaining and believable, she really pulled off Lisa’s quirky and clumsy persona off well.
The set was simple but it worked and with some clever tricks they even managed to create the water scene well. Props were kept minimal and a backdrop of the scenes in the actual film really worked.
The largely anticipated last scene of the film did not disappoint in the show. With ‘nobody puts baby in the corner’ emphasised to gear the audience up for the famous lift, ‘I’ve had the time of my life’ boomed across the theatre and the audience were clapping and singing along. When the lift finally arrived the audience were whistling and cheering right up until the show finished.
Overall, the show was a great watch, it followed the film and the cast were brilliant. The atmosphere of the theatre was brilliant and everybody seemed to leave in high spirits.
After the success of the first UK tour the show is actually going back to the west end at Piccadilly Theatre from July 2013 to February 2014. If you are a huge Dirty Dancing fan then you should definitely go and see the musical.