Dirty Dancing is one of those experiences that you never forget. NETworks Productions LLC. brings the movie to life with the stage production that is playing now through May 24th.
The show itself takes right after the movie (as it should) using the same lines and scene progression. There are some variances from the movie, such as the addition of some lines and scenes to address The Civil Rights Movement and Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. I am torn about the additions. While Civil Rights are still on the foreground of topics to this day, I feel like the writers are trying to give the show more depth. The subject matter builds on Baby’s character. However, the actress playing the role has very little depth, so the translation gets lost a bit. There are also some bits added about Dr. and Mrs. Housman’s relationship that seem superfluous.
Gillian Abbott (Baby) is a Julliard trained dancer does a phenomenal job at “bad” dancing, transitioning into professional dancing. Samuel Pergande as Johnny Castle is another extraordinary dancer, but his acting is very choppy and Shatner-esque. The true standout is Jenny Winton as Penny; unbelievable skill and talent as a dancer and she and Emily Rice (Lisa) are the best actors in the show.
Everyone in the ensemble does an amazing job of executing the choreography. From the dances that are added and the choreography direct from the movie, they surpassed my expectations. Special mention has to be made of the two singers in the show. This is primarily a dance musical, but the addition of the two singers, in this case, is terrific. Jennlee Shallow and Doug Carpenter are exceptional vocalists and for me, really made the show.
If you love Dirty Dancing, you will not be disappointed and yes, you will have, “The time of your life”!