To my shame, I never watched the mega hit movie ‘Dirty Dancing’. This is probably because I was always told the film is a chick flick. I must admit, every woman I know seems to rate it as their all time classic.
With this in mind, when I saw the press invite to Dirty Dancing – The Classic Story On Stage at the Alexandra Theatre Birmingham, I thought to myself, ok, let’s see what all the fuss is about.
I walked into the theatre last night, a Dirty Dancing virgin, and I left, really wanting to watch the original movie!
The show starts off with a fantastic set, and some enthralling musicians. I felt the 1960s American vibe intstantly, the accents, the music, the backdrops.. you can tell right away this is a finely tuned performance and one which drew a decent crowd for the opening night.
Some of the dances are quite raunchy and I think its fair to say the guys and gals in this show are all extremely hot. Good physiques, great dancers, and some pretty awesome vocals in the mix too.
I watched the latest Bond movie ‘No Time To Die’ last week with boring wooden ‘one-expression’ Daniel Craig, and to be honest, i enjoyed Dirty Dancing at The Alex far more.
The attentive audience pipes out plenty of “oohs..” and “woooos”… and a few laughs too. I laughed a fair bit actually, but not sure I was meant to. Yes, it’s cheesy, and cheeky, and sassy, but it does draw you in and offers a reminder that the basic law of attraction is a formula which rarely changes over time.
The cuban heels on Johnny Castle (Michael O’Reilly) must be difficult to dance in, and only added to his ‘hunk’ appeal. It’s clear that Colin Charles (Tito Suarez) has a pretty amazing singing voice and his performance picked up the pace a couple of times. Carlie Milner (Penny Johnson) was quite captivating and Kira Malou (Baby) played a brilliant transformation of clueless and naive to hot seductive temptress. To be fair, all the cast earn their stripes in this show, and my mind rarely wandered which is no mean feat as I have a very short attention span in the evening.
Some of the dance routines towards the end are truly epic, you can’t help but admire the sheer talent and training that has been invested into this show. Well done all, including Austin Wilks (choreographer) and Miles Russell (touring head of music).
The audience swayed and sang along to 35 hit songs, including Hungry Eyes, Hey Baby, Do You Love Me? and the heart stopping (I’ve Had) The Time of My Life.
Something that struck me, sat there being thrilled by the cast and music, is just how much more fun theatre is when done right. Many friends and family would probably never think to attend something like this, but they really should! I watched the latest Bond movie ‘No Time To Die’ last week with boring wooden ‘one-expression’ Daniel Craig, and to be honest, i enjoyed Dirty Dancing at The Alex far more.
Go see Dirty Dancing – The Classic Story On Stage wherever you can, you’ll leave with a true feel good factor and a huge smile on your face!
Words by Nick Byng for Grapevine Birmingham.