cheesy caricature of itself,
a night of theatrical romantic one-liners, innuendos, unnecessary (but very enjoyable) topless stage moments and tremendous dirty dancing.
Dirty Dancing as a film in itself is a guilty pleasure, a teen love story injected with the right amount of sex appeal, melodrama and dancing. Imagine the cheesiness that is Patrick Swayze, amp that up a few notches and you have Dirty Dancing: The Classic Story on Stage. The creative team have done an incredible job with the staging, lighting and choreography in this production; the set, designed by Roberto Comotti, is a visual treat. It works seamlessly with and around the cast’s movements and the water scene in particular is stunning. Gillian Bruce’s choreography from the curtain up captures the true essence of “dirty” in dirty dancing, filled with passion and seduction whilst still remaining elegant and beautiful to watch.
The true star of the show was Penny, played by Carlie Milner; every dance executed was delivered with flair and character and it was hard for the audience not to be mesmerised by her in group dance scenes. The dancing, on the whole, was brilliant – and whilst sometimes the character development and chemistry between characters was lacking, the talent seen in the dancing definitely made up for this.
Other notable performances came from Michael Kent and Sophia Mackay (Billy and Elizabeth) who gave beautiful renditions of some of the musical classics; it was a shame that more singing was not involved, as the pair ran well off one another, taking the cheesiness of the entire night down a tone or two.
The stage production mirrors the movie almost line-by-linewhich, considering the production is a condensed version of the film, doesn’t always work perfectly; sometimes it did feel like lines were thrust in to the dialogue without thought. The acting itself was definitely far from film-worthy, with the occasional awkward pause and bad gags clearly thrown in last minute to provide a few laughs. However, you can’t fault the production for being exactly what it was – a night of theatrical romantic one-liners, innuendos, unnecessary (but very enjoyable) topless stage moments and tremendous dirty dancing.