A few of us from work went to see the Dirty Dancing musical at the Queensland Performing Arts on Sunday. Being a fan of the movie I had high expectations but I was told to expect more of a play with music rather than an all singing all dancing musical and that’s what I got. There is a whole layer of complexity involved when trying to bring a movie to the stage and a holiday resort in the catskills isn’t quite the easiest scene to replicate. A movie like Saw would be simple to adapt but Dirty Dancing isn’t set in one room. The way that the producers tried to convey the different scenes was using a large screen above the stage that indicate where they war. Dining room had food, water scenes had blue and poker games had cards. It felt pretty silly and there were actually people laughing at the screen in some parts.
The actors were good and kept very close to the movie. I was impressed how they paid attention to little costume details such as Johnny Castle’s watch, Baby’s white shoes and cutoffs and, most impressively, the bra showing under the dress when doing her first performance with Johnny at the Shelldrake. Johnny sounded like Patrick and Libby from Neighbours (aka Kym Valentine) had Baby’s akward laugh down pat. The best part of the show was when the sister sang. The hula song and final Kellerman’s chorus are just incredible.
I went away from the venue feeling like I had enjoyed the evening but it is not something I would rave about. I think it was mainly the screen that let me down as the actors and singers were great. I wouldn’t go so far as to call it Lamo dancing like Chris did but I can’t say it was incredible dancing. I’ll just refer to it as “meh dancing’.