I had the the Time of My Life last night, as the touring production of Dirty Dancing debuted at the Dr Phillips Center in Orlando.
Based on the classic movie, the stage version turned out to be just as high-energy and full of great dancing. The production even worked in a bunch of songs that were cut for time from the movie.
Dirty Dancing, the musical, follows the storyline from the movie, which centers around the Kellerman family on their summer vacation in New York’s Catskill Mountains circa 1963. While there, the youngest daughter, Frances ‘Baby’ Houseman, meets the resort’s dance instructor, Johnny Castle.
All the classic scenes from the movie are there, from the introduction to the finale dance and lift. When Johnny storms onstage and says, “Nobody puts Baby in the corner!,” the audience lit up and cheered loudly.
As Johnny and Baby, Christopher Tierney and Rachel Boone are brilliant. One really feels the awkwardness of young Baby dancing for the first time in Johnny’s arms, then the growing attraction, and finally the heat at the two fall in love. In fact, I think the whole cast works beautifully as a whole to bring the story to life.
I also enjoyed the way the stage utilized video screens to change the decor from one scene to another. Especially creative was the use of a drop-down screen at the front of the stage to switch from woods to the lake as Baby and Johnny practiced their lifts.
Overall, I really enjoyed this production…in fact, a lot more than I thought I would. I think you’ll enjoy it, too.
[Photos courtesy of Dr Phillips Center]
[Disclaimer: I received tickets for review purposes. As always, my opinions are my own and completely honest.]
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