If you grew up in eighties like me, who hasn’t seen Dirty Dancing? It’s the classic dancing-meets-love-story from the late 80’s starring Jennifer Grey and Patrick Swayze and one of my all time favs. Can’t you just hear the music and see the scenes replaying in your head when I mention the songs “Hungry Eyes” and “Do You Love Me?” and of course “(I’ve Had) The Time Of My Life.” So when I heard that this iconic movie was being adapted for the stage, I was excited to see it!
Last week, I was invited to attend the Opening Night of DIRTY DANCING – The Classic Story On Stage to kick off it’s limited engagement (through February 21, 2016) at the Hollywood Pantages Theatre. This stage adaption was entertaining, fun and really took me back in time to those nostalgic feelings that I had about the original movie.
For those who aren’t familiar with the story, it takes place during the summer of 1963 when 17-year-old Frances ‘Baby’ Houseman is on vacation in New York’s Catskill Mountains with her older sister and parents. Baby discovers her own entertainment when she stumbles upon the staff quarters where an all-night dance party is in full swing. Mesmerized by the raunchy dance moves and the pounding rhythms, Baby can’t wait to be part of the scene, especially when she catches sight of Johnny Castle, the resort dance instructor. Baby’s life is about to change forever as she is thrown in at the deep end as Johnny’s leading lady both on-stage and off with breathtaking consequences.
The leading cast members of the Pantages show really captured the look, personalities and vibe of the original cast and emulated the actors and characters that they were portraying. It was so enjoyable to watch this heartfelt story come to life, especially the dancing. And I loved watching Baby and Johnny’s playful and passionate love story unfold right before my eyes.
I was also captivated by the explosive singing chops of Billy Kostecki (Doug Carpenter) and Elizabeth (Adrienne Walker) – Wow! Their performances and voices were memorable and show stopping!
So if you want to take a walk down memory lane and experience an enjoyable night of musical theater and dancing in Los Angeles go see DIRTY DANCING – The Classic Story On Stage at the Hollywood Pantages, 6233 Hollywood Blvd., Los Angeles, CA 90028 before it closes on February 21, 2016.