Tuesday, 10 July 2012

DIRTY DANCING (UK Tour) Review July 2012

Dirty Dancing, billed as "the classic story on stage" is just that. It's not a play, but a times not even a musical - it is the film replicated almost exactly on the stage. Where there's music in the film, there's music in the show. There is little new material for the stage version unlike other stage-movie adaptations such as Ghost and Legally Blonde.

The story follows 'Baby' Houseman (Jill Winternitz) who on a family holiday falls for dancer Johnny Castle (Paul-Michael Jones) who teaches her to dance... dirtily. Both leads give impressive performances with the true extent of their dancing talent reaching a climax in the finale.

To keep up with the pace of a film the set is very minimal and made up of mostly large video screens which provide a "set change" in less than a second. They're impressive but it would have been nice to see perhaps real stage curtains instead of projections onto a screen.

The choreography of Kate Champion is hot, sexy, daring and breathtaking. The cast are incredible and all on top of their game. Stand-out performances include Callum Nicol who not only shines as part of the ensemble routines but also in the role of Robbie Gould. Nicky Griffiths as Penny also dominates the stage. Stefan Menaul provides the humour as Neil Kellerman. Emilia Williams receives rapturous applause for the Hula Hana. Wayne Smith's vocals at the beginning of 'Time Of My Life' are perfect and exceptionally close to the infamous version we all know and love.

Audiences at the Birmingham Hippodrome are always loud cheerers and in true fashion the place erupted after the "nobody puts Baby in the corner". For the rest of the finale everyone was on their feet and the show really livened up.

Dirty Dancing is well worth a visit at least once for a fun night out and has a lengthy eight week run until 25th August at the Birmingham Hippodrome.

Ticket Booking for Birmingham: http://www.birminghamhippodrome.com/WhatsOn_focus.asp?showId=1706

Website: http://www.dirtydancingontour.com/

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