Fleeting yet memorable, a holiday romance cab add an unpredictable sense of excitement that elevates mood. Whether momentary, or the start of a promising connection, meeting that special someone whilst away is an added bonus. Nearly 40 years down and the tale of Frances Houseman – aka ‘Baby’ (Kira Malou) and dance instructor Johnny Castle’s (Michael O’Reilly) holiday romance entertains, Eleanor Bernstein’s iconic dance film Dirty Dancing returning to the stage. Adapted into a stage musical by Karl Sydow, in association with Lionsgate and Magic Hour, and kicking off a national tour at the Dominion Theatre, it’s fair to say the musical starts off the year with a bang!
Amidst the presidential leadership of John F. Kennedy, the might of Martin Luther King and his spearheading of the civil rights movement, and the midpoint of the Vietnam War, Dirty Dancing takes us back to 1963 America, where the Houseman family vacation at a plush summer resort. Cue resort dance instructor Johnny Castle, paired initially with skilled dancer Penny Johnson (Charlotte Gooch) who due to unforeseen circumstances sees himself have to train Baby to a decent dance standard to pair up with him during paired dance shows. What ensues is a romance no one sees coming, and a dance partnership that works out a lot better than once thought.
Directed by Federico Bellone, Dirty Dancing embodies a much needed vitality to combat the doom and gloom of the present day. Malou’s Baby brimming with equal parts optimism as she does comic timing. O’Reilly’s Johnny – aloof yet grounded, Gooch’s Penny – a show stopping, dominant presence who absolutely owns the stage. The ensemble, consisting of Callum Fitzgerald, Chrissy Brooke, Nathan Ryles, Joel Benjamin, Shaquille Brush, Inez Budd, Lily Laight, Hollie-Ann Lowe elevating the stage, the swing ensemble consisting of Charlotte Coggin, Sophia McAvoy, Ben Middleton, Carly Miles, Ayden Morgan and Lee Nicholson all performing the musical’s much loved, well known tracklist with power and gusto! A feel good show that doesn’t take itself too seriously.
Written by Lucy Basaba.
Dirty Dancing is currently showing until Saturday 29th April 2023 at the Dominion Theatre. To find out more about the production, visit here…