Thursday, May 28, 2009

Dirty Dancing on Stage

I saw Dirty Dancing at the Pantages a couple of weekends ago. I had a really fun time, but would be the first to admit that it's not for everyone.

If you remember "Nobody puts Baby in a corner!" and the opening credits sequence, and "I carried a watermelon!" go see this show. You will have a fantastic time re-living the memories, and you can scream and carry on like you were a school girl again and no one will look at you funny.

It's high energy, great dancing (the choreography is nearly identical to what was in the film), and doesn't leave out any of your favorite parts from the movie.

The first act follows the original screenplay almost word for word. In the second act, however, they added about 20 minutes of mostly superfluous dialogue, and a 16-measure duet between Baby's mother and father that just didn't belong. The additions that were useful all involved the character of Baby's mother, who is more fleshed out and gets a back story! But for the most part, the additional scenes are the lowest points of the show.

It all comes back to high energy when they go back to the screenplay, and the talent show at Kellerman's. By the end, you're ready to find the nearest dance club playing your favorite '80s songs!

The dancing is superb. The actor I saw playing Johnny was totally hot, and had the Swayze physique (and, thankfully, had plenty of stage time without a shirt). The unfortunate part is that he's from Australia, and while a well-trained dancer, he's not so superb with the American accent. I never got used to the lilts that came in and out throughout the show.

The only other singing (apart from the strange duet) is done by two singers, one male and one female, and the male was mind-blowing phenomenal. I mean, this guy has a voice that sends chills up your spine! The female singer was completely capable, but overshadowed by his brilliance.

I went with a couple of female friends from work, and there were tons of females there in our oh-so-vague age group. There were also plenty of couples (guys, you will almost definitely get la1d if you take your woman to see this). We all went nuts at the end, and had a great, great time!

It is not musical theatre. The music is all solely from the film soundtrack (except, again, for that odd duet). It's not a Broadway musical by any means. But it is a really fun night out.

Dirty Dancing will be playing at the Pantages through June 28.


dadshouse said...

I had no idea it was in theatres now. Sounds like fun. The movie was great. Thanks for the review!

Kori said...

OMG, I totally forgot the " I carried a watermelon" line. I think I need to rent this.

Jen said...

Sounds like it was a great evening of pure fun.

BTW... have you seen GLEE yet? It's truly gleeful! (Sorry, couldn't resist, much as I should have).

Natalie said...

That sounds like a ton of fun! I loved Dirty Dancing, so it sounds like I would enjoy the play.

Dingo said...

I loved the movie all seven times I watched it in the theaters. Even now, when it comes on TV, I can't not watch it. What is it about this movie that appeals to so many of us?

April said...

I have a theory on that, Dingo. I think it had to do with Jennifer Grey not being a buxom, leggy blonde - that all of us "average" girls could be sexy and graceful - and get the hot guy! Granted it's still a Cinderella story of sorts, but with a Cinderella that we could relate to!

C.J. Koster said...

I saw it on stage once but always seemed to like the movie better.

Mark said...

Sounds like a lot of fun! Thanks for the review.

jenn said...

Sounds like so much fun! I love the movie. Just watched it on tv again recently.

When Shiloh was a baby, I couldn't resist buying her a shirt that said, "Nobody puts Baby in a corner."

Julie said... my favorite line: "you can scream and carry on like you were a school girl again and no one will look at you funny." I would have loved to have seen that!

I'm going to see my first musical (Rent) in October! (Not that Dirty Dancing is a musical...)

Anonymous said...

I had no idea that Dirty Dancing was in theater. I would love to go see that, will have to find out if it's in my area.

Thanks for stopping by my blog!

Anonymous said...

I too had no idea it was in the theater...damn, I LOVED that movie and I think you nailed it on the head with why we love it so much....I've seen Mama Mia SIX times and dance in the aisles every time...I can't wait for this one to come to Pittsburgh! Thanks for the heads up!

Mike said...

Pantages out here on the West Coast? My drama major daughter would love to see it. Thanks