The good people that run the PNC Broadway in Louisville series and more importantly their public relations director Matthew Thorton recently offered Mr. Skipah a chance to review the debut stage production in Louisville, KY of Dirty Dancing on tour at the Kentucky Center for the Performing Arts. In what could only be described as a “stroke of luck” Miss Madison had been hinting for weeks that she wanted to see this show herself. Winner winner chicken dinner for everyone involved.
I’m relatively new to the theater scene, but I got to take a date with me to review it so of course Miss Madison was my first option. Using a plan straight out of a master spy’s playbook I completely tricked Miss Madison into thinking we were going to an upscale restaurant for an impromptu date night so we literally did have “The Time of Our Life” before it was all said and done.
Initial impression of the theater was WOW this isn’t your normal high school production that I’m accustomed to.
Again thank you Mr. Thorton for the awesome accommodations!
The cast, FYI Jenny Winton can cut a rug!
Skipah’s take is the talent level the actors/dancers performed at was top notch. The endurance alone to pull of some of the numbers during the show and not be gasping for air was something to behold. Since I’m not an expert on the movie itself I thought I would let Miss Madison give you an avid fan’s perspective.
Introducing theater review savant Miss Madison!
I could not have been more thrilled to be surprised with Dirty Dancing tickets when I thought we were actually just going out to eat. Dirty Dancing has been one of my favorite movies for most of my life, ever since my parents (who didn’t let me watch PG-13 movies until I was actually 13) let me watch it for the first time when I was 8 years old for some reason. It left a big impression, and since then, every time I’m flipping channels and find it on TV, I have to watch. The live production lived up to my expectations, and as soon as the first scene started with the actors directly quoting the movie, I was hooked.
The dialogue, songs, and dances paid homage to the original with the addition of only a few scenes about social protests in the 1960s and an added love interest between two cast members that gave the story a little more depth. The actors nailed their lines, and I, as well as every other woman in the place, was on the edge of my seat every time an iconic line was coming up, and they didn’t miss any of them. The dancing lived up to the original, while the dancers also gave it a little something extra to make it feel like a polished, choreographed performance. One of my favorite parts of the show was the digital backdrops and scenery that transported the audience to the natural beauty of Kellerman’s Resort. The backgrounds were constantly changing and really added to the overall ambiance of the show. The lift scene in the water was done with the help of a semi-opaque digital screen of water in front of the actors that was one of the best theater effects I’ve ever seen. I was really looking forward to the final scene, when Johnny and Baby dance to The Time of My Life, and it did not disappoint. They captured the magic of that final dance and had the audience eating out of their hands at that point. Overall, the show was amazing, and I would recommend it to anyone who loves the movie (and their boyfriends).
Two thumbs up!
Dirty Dancing will be playing in Louisville, KY through Sunday, October 18th before traveling to a town near you. To purchase tickets you can go to BroadwayAcrossAmerica.com or through Ticketmaster.com.