video tape is grainy and thin, the writing has worn off your DVD copy
but dont worry, Dirty Dancing the stage show is on its
..and I should know, I was at the World Premiere at the Theatre
Royal in Sydney, Australia.
Im a big ugly bloke who likes a beer and the football, but
my favourite film is Dirty Dancing so I was thrilled to have the
chance to see if it could transfer to the stage whilst on a break
Down Under and what an experience.
I walked down the red carpet into the theatre, the snaporazzis
flash bulbs were going crazy.
before I had the chance to dip the shoulder and dazzle my best smile
I realised that a bronzed and beautiful Rebecca Cartwright (Hayley
from Home and Away) was following me in a figure-hugging red dress.
It was a night for the whos who of Aussie stage and screen,
every teenage girl growing up in the early 90s wanting to
be Frances Baby Houseman, to be whisked off her feet
and educated by a hunky Johnny Castle.
lucky girl to play the naïve lead role was Kym Valentine (Libby
from BBC TVs Neighbours to you and me).
around the block
was the only household face for a travelling Brit, and I couldnt
fail to notice how much she was enjoying herself as an enthused
audience cheered, laughed and cried with her all the way through
an emotional journey.
was played by a taller Patrick Swayze lookalike, Josef Brown. His
dancing was exceptional, and although his American accent slipped
at times he more than did the part justice. He had the ladies in
the audience swooning as his six-pack rippled, and whooping as he
delivered the vital line, Nobody puts baby in the corner.
Dancing isnt Dirty Dancing without the music (the soundtrack
has sold over 39 million copies) and as the lights dimmed, and the
first notes were struck, I knew that the songs were going to be
even more important on the stage.
Dancing is not a musical, but it is a production with great music
that helps to maintain a real sense of pace.
story has so many different locations, but the production was very
clever in overcoming this problem.
set on a rotating stage was aided by a full length moving digital
screen to set scenes rather than create them. The screen is also
used to show the audience whispered dialogue, and even sing-along
lyrics in the finale.
the moment the audience arrived they seemed to be baying to see
that final lift, and thats the key to the shows
bringing Dirty Dancing to the stage, you get the chance to take
part in that last all-important scene. You stand and clap as Johnny
prowls around Baby with his fellow dancers to the soundtrack of
Time of My Life.
you get live goosebumps as he gives her the nod to run
into his arms and be launched, and held high over his head.
have been on my holidays in Australia, but already I cant
wait for Dirty Dancing to hit Londons West End. It may see
some tweaks during its travels, but theres no doubting that
you, like me, will have The Time of Your Life.
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