Dirty Dancing


Dirty Dancing has been a phenomenon on film and, latterly, on stage since 1987 and nobody has put Baby in a corner yet. Whether or not you’ll have the time of your life at this stage version, now returning to the West End after a two-year absence, depends prevalently on two factors. These are a) how much wine you’ve drunk and b) whether you’re with a group of female friends, ideally in hen party formation. A combination of a and b would, of course, be optimum. The rest of us must rub along as best we can and try not to dwell on how sorely the charisma of the late Patrick Swayze is missed. Nonetheless, there is an awful lot of twaddle to sit through before Baby doesn’t get put in a corner. Eleanor Bergstein’s script is not the last word in finesse and too often the monotonous rhythm of Sarah Tipple’s production means that it’s more Dirge-y Dancing than anything else. For a musical, there is bewilderingly little singing and it’s downright peculiar how numbers such as She’s Like the Wind get so little space. For the uninitiated — although if you are this, I heartily recommend you stay so — it’s 1963 and we’re in a holiday resort in the Catskills. The ridiculously-monikered Baby Houseman (Jill Winternitz) and her family are there, along with a troupe of Butlin’s-style entertainers, including moody Johnny Castle (Paul-Michael Jones), the dance instructor from the wrong side of the tracks. Unsurprisingly, Baby does not spend her vacation studying the economics of under-developed countries, her wearisomely worthy degree subject. Given that the ‘official’ entertainment is an endless turgid round of musical chairs, it’s no wonder that Baby takes refuge with the off-duty staff. Winternitz has a certain girl-next-door appeal, but the spark between her and the largely charmless Jones is a decidedly low-burning one. Kate Champion’s choreography is slick but unengaging, although there’s limber support from Charlotte Gooch as Penny, the dancer who gets herself into an unfortunate situation. The corner might be avoided, but there’s an inescapable sense that it has also been cut.


Pubblicato il 24 settembre 2013, in Misc con tag , , , , , , , . Aggiungi il permalink ai segnalibri. Lascia un commento.


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