I used to attend the theatre a lot. In part it was due to my absolute passion for musical theatre. Even now, like I did in the past, a frisson of excitement attacks my skin and makes my hair stand on end. Yet rising ticket prices and silly surplus charges (booking fee, processing fee per ticket etc) have stopped what was once a consistent hobby and activity in my life.
However, I treated my mother to tickets for her birthday to see Dirty Dancing. This wasn’t really a hardship. I wanted to see the show myself. You see I make no secret of the fact that I adore Dirty Dancing. Actually adore is probably an understatement. I don’t think there is an actual word appropriate for how I feel towards Dirty Dancing (see picture below for demonstrative proof of my adoration – there is other memorabilia but I didn’t want to “fangirl” too much). The tickets were a gift that kept on giving and I am glad I spent my hard earned money on them. The show was fabulous.
Sticking true to the classic 80s movie the production kept all the main scenes and best loved lines. However, for obvious production reasons the writers have included a few scenes which help the story make sense on stage.
One of my favourite aspects of the show was the incorporation of the whole cast. None of the main characters sang any of the songs. It was all done by the supporting cast which is something that I have never ever seen happen before. The quality of performance from the supporting cast cannot be ignored. No matter how small the role the cast made up for it in the skills of either singing or dancing or just a throwaway line.
The main cast held the story together. The problem that I feel that the main cast could have faced was that because Dirty Dancing is such a well loved movie (as could be seen by the response of the audience) is the pressure of not being able to live up to the original. Fortunately, the cast honoured the characters that we have come to know and love – in particular Baby, Johnny, Penny and the Housemans – yet they were able to put their own mark on it.
Well done to the cast and crew of Dirty Dancing. It sounds cheesy and probably has been overused but I really did have the time of my life!