Dirty Dancing (3 stars)

Straightforward stage recreation of the hit 80s film, boosted by an excellent live band and slick dancing


This article is from 2012.

Dirty Dancing

Photo: Alastair Muir

There are some iconic moments that never get old. No matter how many times you see Patrick Swayze and Jennifer Grey finally crack ‘the lift’ at the end of Dirty Dancing, it always brings a thrill, and possibly a wee tear to the eye.

Had the producers of this ambitious stage version got that moment wrong, it would have been catastrophic. As it is, just as in the 1987 film, it’s a moment to cherish - and one that sends the already excitable crowd into apoplexy.

We know exactly when it’s coming, because aside from a couple of brief additions, Dirty Dancing live is a word for word, step by step carbon copy of the original. You can almost sense the audience waiting for key lines along the way (‘nobody puts Baby in a corner’ producing an especially raucous reaction).

Which is all well and good, because it’s a great film, but some things don’t translate to a stage and auditorium of this size - and sexual anticipation is one of them. Paul-Michael Jones and Jill Winternitz (aka Johnny Castle and Baby Houseman) try their best to capture the romantic chemistry and class tension of this legendary pairing, but it’s a tough challenge that doesn’t quite come off.

The supporting cast - and Emilia Williams’ as Baby’s big sister in particular - are largely strong. Elsewhere, attempts to broaden the 1960s socio-political plotline feel a tad tokenistic, but a sense of history is clearly defined by the excellent live band and slick dancing.

Edinburgh Playhouse until Sat 12 Jan.

Dirty Dancing Tour EPK (Full)

This article is from 2012.

Dirty Dancing

  • Directed by: Sarah Tipple
  • Written by: Eleanor Bergstein

See Baby not put in the corner in the musical based on the late Patrick Swayze's popular film.

Alhambra Theatre, Bradford

Mon 1 May

£22–£50 / 01274 432000

Tue 2 May

£22–£50 / 01274 432000

Wed 3 May

£22–£50 / 01274 432000

…and 3 more dates until 6 May

Bristol Hippodrome

Mon 3 Jul

£15.40–£64.90 / 0844 847 2325

Tue 4 Jul

£15.40–£64.90 / 0844 847 2325

Wed 5 Jul

£15.40–£64.90 / 0844 847 2325

…and 3 more dates until 8 Jul

The Edinburgh Playhouse

Mon 12 Jun

£17.90–£64.90 / 0844 871 3014

Tue 13 Jun

£17.90–£64.90 / 0844 871 3014

Wed 14 Jun

£17.90–£64.90 / 0844 871 3014

…and 3 more dates until 17 Jun

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