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    Tags: Dirty_Dancing, Liverpool_Empire_Theatre, Scott_Bryant

    Review: Dirty Dancing


    Eleanor Bergstein’s sizzling masterpiece Dirty Dancing, has not only been an iconic romance movie cemented as a fan favourite. It has been smashing box office records for the past decade with its ‘Classic Story On Stage’. The record-breaking success is no surprise due to the fantastic direction from Sarah Tipple, combined with breath taking choreography by the talented Kate Champion. Plus the seamless merging of an iconic sound track, with an up-beat live performance created a truly awe-inspiring evening.


    Dirty Dancing – The Classic Story On Stage, first took form at the Theatre Royal in Sydney, Australia over a decade ago. Since then the sheer success of the show has rocketed. From the classic 1980 film, the production had big shoes to fill. Not just the film, but also massive hits such as ‘Hungry Eyes’ and the phenomenal ‘(I’ve Had) The Time Of My Life’. Living up to its name, The Classic Story On Stage executed the production with poise and finesse.


    The highly talented cast showcased a rage of captivating choreography. There was spectacular rhythm from the devilishly handsome Lewis Kirk, who plays our main heartthrob Jonny Castle. Throughout the show his every movement was fluid with subtle inflections that added depth, personality and a sense of realism to his character. From the audience reaction, there was a real relationship between character and audience. Kirk's performance was that perfect I would say it rivalled Swayze’s - in fact I’d go as far to say I preferred Kirk's interpretation of the character.



    However the success of the show does not land completely on Kirk's shoulders. As we all know, it takes two to tango. Roseanne Frascona’s performance as ‘Baby’ brought much energy to the role and it was incredibly interesting to see how she portrayed Baby’s humanity and empathy through body language alone. The chemistry between the two leads acted as catalysis for a raunchy and memorable romance. It was incredible to watch their relationship develop, from catching eyes on the dance floor to a steamy night in Jonny’s cabin. I was mesmerised by the sheer number of talented cast members. Claire Rogers who plays Penny Johnson is absolutely stunning. Her dancing style was graceful, elegant and beautiful to watch. It was so easy to feel a direct line between yourself and the character. 


    As the final scene grew nearer, the whole theatre crammed with diehard Dirty Dancing fans knew what was going to happen next. We heard the loud screech of a car, a slam of a car door and Johnny swaggered his way through the crowd. Wolf whistles could be heard from every direction as the charismatic Bailey climbed on stage, throwing his brown leather holdall on the ground. Then there it was, the words everyone had been waiting for… “No-body puts Baby in the corner”. The whole room erupted and the atmosphere was amazing! You couldn’t help but grin from ear to ear as you watched the final dance act unfold, intently waiting for another iconic moment. Before it even happened, amongst the audience you could hear whispers of “Its coming, it’s going to happen any minute”. You could see Frascona run towards Kirk and at this moment you could feel the whole audience take a breath, and the then lift. Seeing this iconic moment from such a classic was amazingly gratifying.    



    This production, with it highly talented cast, exquisitely crafted plot and iconic moments is definitely a must see. It is such a classic, it would be a crime to ignore! 


    By Scott Bryant



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