Review: A Night of Dirty Dancing

A Night of Dirty Dancing

I have to say that it’s very rare that I leave the Grand Theatre feeling disappointed by a show.  In fact, it has only happened to me twice in the ten years that I have lived here.  Sadly, Saturday night was one of them.  As a massive fan of the original film, I was really looking forward to seeing the show.  The promotional material I read had given me high hopes of a fantastic night.  But this was not to be.  Don’t get me wrong, the show wasn’t terrible, it just lacked a certain something.

Initially, we thought that it started well.  The entertainment was set during the final night of the season at Kellerman’s Holiday Park.  In order to allow for performances of as much music as possible, there were a number of flashbacks to earlier events. For example, the famous ‘I carried a watermelon’ scenario, which was quite hilarious.

Baby’s sister, Lisa, featured heavily throughout the show.  Some of this was ‘laugh-out-loud’ funny but by the second half it had started to become rather tedious, particularly Lisa’s over frequent references to getting her eggs fertilised.  Not sure that this was appropriate for a family audience.  Another aspect that was initially very amusing was the introduction of audience member Mark.  Lisa claimed to have fallen for him and, although he was only on the stage for a few minutes, she referred to him regularly, too regularly throughout the show. Most of the audience seemed to become bored with this, shown by their decreasing laughter in response to Lisa’s ‘Oh Mark’ every few minutes.

Towards the end of the first half, several songs which were unrelated to Dirty Dancing’were played. I’m not sure why they did this, maybe it was to pad out the show, but it didn’t work.  During the interval, I overheard several conversations from other audience members. Although some people were saying that it was fantastic, the vast majority were expressing their disappointment.  On re-entering the circle, I noticed that a few people had left during the interval, whilst others left before the finale, but they may have had buses to catch.

There were some positive elements within the show.  The dancing was well choreographed and the dancers’ timing was perfect.  However, some of the dancing was more sleazy than sexy at times.  The dancer portraying Johnny took his shirt off at one stage and a lady behind me went hysterical, screeching and yelling.  However, he kept making reference to his ‘six-pack’ which appeared to be none existent from where we were sitting. Although he was well toned, he was no Patrick Swayze.  Singing voices were only average.  To be honest I’ve heard better at karaoke.  At times the music was over loud which at times made it quite difficult to hear the lyrics.  But the cast were energetic and enthusiastic.

The finale was pretty good.  The expected ‘Nobody put’s Baby in the corner’ line was delivered and Johnny and Penny launched into an energetic routine accompanied by (I’ve Had) The Time of my Life.  Sadly, we certainly hadn’t.


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