There’s a lot of dancing in ‘Dirty Dancing,’ and it’s a bit dirty – but will you have the time of your life?
Returning back to the London stage (now playing at the Dominion Theatre), ‘Dirty Dancing’ will be one for the jukebox musical lovers (out of towners and tourists) but not for the die hard theatre goers.
It’s the late 1960’s and ‘Baby’ (Kira Malou) and her family are vacationing in the Catskills (upper New York State resort). They partake in all the activities the resort has to offer, including dancing, and Baby takes up a dancing with Johnny Castle (Michael O’Reilly) as she really, really fancies him. And as many of you have seen the film with Patrick Swayze and Jenifer Grey you all know how it plays out.
But in this theatre production, Malou looks way to young to play Baby, and O’Reilly is too chiselled (and too stiff) to play Johnny (he has an obligatory underwear scene that’s actually a bit cringe worthy). They both can dance their hearts out (as do the rest of the cast – especially Charlotte Gooch as Penny – she’s the best of the lot, as are the vocals provided by the house band called Kellerman’s Band). But it’s a short run (in London until April 29th, 2023 before heading off on tour again). The music is singalong and the set and sound are adequate for the huge stage. So let the hordes think they’ve had the time of their lives, after dropping upwards of on average of about £50 per ticket.
Review by Tim Baros
Photo by Mark Senior