You’ll Have the Time of Your Life at “Dirty Dancing” at  DSM


Dirty DancingI can’t emphasize that line in the title enough.  What girl on Planet Earth didn’t love the 1987 movie “Dirty Dancing”?  It had everything, romance, forbidden love, sexy dancing (it was considered very racy at the time), comedy and yes, Patrick Swayze.  Well, we don’t get Patrick in this production I’m sad to say but it’s okay because we still have the character, Johnny Castle in all his sexy dancing glory.

The story is kind of like “Dancing With the Stars” set in 1963.  Take a girl who’s never danced before and turn her into a professional dancer in 5 days and throw in some romance, teenage rebellion, and some social issues on top and you have “Dirty Dancing”.  The story takes place in the summer of 1963 and  the main character Frances “Baby” Houseman is vacationing in the New York Catskill Mountains at a resort with her parents and older sister.  Baby’s character embodies the time period.  She’s a sheltered, upper class teenage girl who has lofty aspirations of joining the Peace Corp and changing the world until she lays eyes on Johnny Castle, the sexy dance instructor at the resort.  Johnny is the forbidden fruit of this story.   He’s lower middle class but red hot and Baby’s feeling something she’s never felt before, passion.  Passion for both Johnny and for dancing.  And it turns out she’s pretty good at both.

I took some girlfriends with me to see this production and we all agreed that the musical was very fun and most importantly stayed true to the movie.  We were all happy about that because you can’t mess with perfection.  The musical has all the songs that we loved in the movie such as, “You Don’t Own Me”, In the Still of the Night”,  “Hungry Eyes”,  and the Oscar winning song “I’ve had the Time of My Life”.   The lead performers were excellent in their roles and the lead vocalists delivered the songs and the dancers delivered the dancing.   One stand out performance was the actress who played Penny.  She is a phenomenal dancer.  But here was the real test and it passed.   I still got tears in my eyes at the closing number where Baby and Johnny perform and she succeeds at making that scary dance lift.  Baby nailed it and that remains one of best scenes ever.

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The set design and rotating stage were very innovative.  The background screen changed flawlessly from scene to scene and enhanced the experience of the 60’s Catskills.   And yes, they still practiced dance lifts in the lake, on stage.  It was almost like watching a movie within a theater production.  Very cool.

But the musical really wasn’t complete until the Johnny delivered the famous line “Nobody puts Baby in the corner” and the audience exploded in applause.  This is musical theater at its best and yes, it may sound a little cheesy but we all had the time of our lives!  Make it a girls night out or make it a date night but just go see it!

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DIRTY DANCING, runs from June 23 – July 5, 2015  and single tickets are $25-$98 (pricing subject to change), are now on sale online at DallasSummerMusicals.org,  by phone at: 1.800.514.ETIX (3849), and at The Box Office, 5959 Royal Lane, Suite 542 in Dallas, TX.

Dallas Summer Musicals 75th Anniversary Season will close with the production of:

Four Time Tony Award Winner – Pippin, July 7-19, 2015

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