Dancing along past Lime Street, anyone would have thought I was totally bonkers last night. But that’s how infectious this musical is. Dirty dancing isn’t just a show, its a whole experience, a definite must-see this April.
This iconic love story is on at the Empire until the 25th April, just one of the stops on its UK tour. The show is a real crowd-pleaser, hands-down the best choreographed show I have ever seen. Featuring all the popular songs such as ‘Do you love me?’, ‘Hungry eyes’ , ‘De Todo un Poco’ ‘Cry to me’ and of course the awesome ‘(I’ve had) the Time of My Life,’ the show really is the musical sensation.
For those who don’t know the story, the plot follows the blossoming relationship between aspiring member of the peace-corps Frances ‘Baby’ Houseman and dance teacher Johnny Castle as he attempts to teach her to dance on her family holiday at Kellerman’s hotel. Along the way Baby discovers a whole side of herself that she never knew existed, making her question everything about what she wants from life.
After a bit of a slow start, they got the energy just right, and the atmosphere was electric. With plenty of hip thrusting going on, the show certainly lived up to its title, and with high expectations, I certainly wasn’t disappointed. I was totally blown away. The range of dance talent was incredible, although special mention has to go to Claire Rogers for her breathtaking performance as Penny. Unfortunately Gareth Bailey couldn’t take the role of Johnny Castle for the Liverpool leg of the tour, with Lewis Kirk instead taking on the task of portraying the hunky dance teacher. But there’s no need to be disappointed, Kirk’s performance was outstanding and his on-stage chemistry with co-star Roseanna Frascona was fantastic. I think a lot of people are very protective over the characters in this epic romance, but these two certainly won’t let any of you hardcore fans down.
The staging was truly beautiful, with the use of projections and screens a really effective tool, making the practice lift scenes absolutely hilarious. There’s also plenty of comedy in the show, not least in the form of Baby’s sister Lisa Houseman’s it’s-so-bad-it’s-almost-good singing. The only criticism (if I can even call it that) is that there is so much substance to this show its really difficult to know where to look and who to watch in the massive dance numbers. The cast received a standing ovation at the close of the show, and its really no wonder, it was well deserved. Definitely go and see this incredible show if you can, you’ll have the time of your life!