Dirty Dancing

Wilma’s Rating ***

Piccadilly Theatre – 18th July 2013
Until 22 February 2014

I’ve never been a fan of Dirty Dancing. I didn’t like the film and I didn’t like the show last time around at the Aldwych Theatre. I hoped perhaps third time around something would spark inside me that I had never felt before. Sadly it didn’t.

Dirty Dancing is set in the summer of 1963 when 17 year old Baby Houseman (Jill Winternitz) goes to Kellermans holiday camp with her parents and sister.

Baby falls in love with the camp dance teacher Johnny Castle (Paul Michael Jones) who is quite the ladies man! When his dance partner Penny Johnson (Charlotte Gooch) falls pregnant, Baby runs to the rescue, raising money for her to get an abortion and then stands in as Johnny’s dance partner while she is away.

The acting was up to standard. I just don’t understand why you would have a musical on stage and just play recordings of half the music. A musical should be live and not just a play with music. Wayne Smith (Billy Kostecki) had the best voice and a smile that could melt hearts. Rosa O’Reilly had a great voice but looked uncomfortably nervous on stage.

The production looked fairly cheap. I don’t think it is necessary these days to be able to see wigs stuck to heads (it can be off putting) and props that are obviously not real. If someone has a drink in their hand, I don’t want to see that the contents doesn’t move and that in fact there is no liquid in the glass at all.

Dirty Dancing is your typical girls night out, watching a well loved film performed on stage. With more cheese than a delicatessen, It’s fine for its purpose (a fun night out with the girls) but a great theatre show this isn’t.