DIRTY DANCING (musical)
1963. Teenager Baby and her family head for the hillside country hotel resorts
that provided wealthy Americans with a programme of entertainment and relaxation
back then. While her older sister as usual gets all the attention, a hunky dance
instructor decides that nobody puts Baby in the corner... and teaches her about
life, love and how to have the time of her life...
Adapted from the film, this features all the well known songs and promises to go
further in evoking the era and drawing the audience in the action of Baby's best
The production, first seen at the Aldwych Theatre from October 2006 until July
2011, now returns to the West End following a UK tour.
LADIES: This show attracts a predominantly female audience. The theatre's quota
of 'restroom' facilities isn't designed to cope with this. Expect VAST, as in 20
or more long, lines at all facilities before the show, at the interval and after
the show too. Arrive early, and expect the queue is the monkey advice. If it
helps, in these situations, theatre managers often "hold the curtain" until the
lines are cleared.
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(from the 2006 Aldwych Theatre run)
The time of your life? If you are not a regular musical theatregoer, then quite
possibly. There is plenty to like in this film to stage translation. The story
is the familiar one from the film, with a few added details and the scenic
projections (way ahead of "The Woman In White" in the monkey memory) keep the
thing moving onwards.
OK story and pretty good sets. What might a musical theatre aficionado
quibble about? First, the music doesn't always move the story onwards, it is
sometimes more a reverence to the film than anything else, which stretches the
evening somewhat and distorts the speed. Second, though the cast are energetic,
they occasionally seem surplus to requirements as you wish to concentrate on
only a few characters. One reviewer complained the first thirty minutes aren't
that clear to those who've not seen the film too - though the monkey disagrees
somewhat, there is a grain of truth in it, something the director might tighten
as time goes on.
Like the show itself, this review will conclude on a high note, if not an iconic
moment. A much loved movie has made the jump to the West End fairly
successfully, and this should be an enjoyable night out for many.