herald

Tuesday 21 November 2017

Having the time of their lives

"I carried a watermelon," says Frances 'Baby' Houseman. It's the second-most famous line from Eleanor Bergstein's classic coming-of-age tale of romance and happy feet. But that doesn't make it any less effective than the big one. You know, as in the one where Johnny takes Baby out of her corner.

Let's not forget that the original 1987 film, starring Patrick Swayze and Jennifer Grey, is held in extremely high regard. By scary female fans. Yep, we're dealing with a crazy audience here.

The kind that (literally) holds its collective breath as a tanned and toned Johnny Castle (Paul-Michael Jones) introduces himself to his beloved Baby (Emily Holt). Some mouth along with the dialogue, or, in most cases, the memorable soundtrack (Hungry Eyes, Be My Baby, The Time of My Life, etc.).

As a colourfully decorated adaptation of a much-loved flick, Dirty Dancing just about passes the test. Hardly surprising, given that a) Bergstein also wrote it, b) the leads are perfectly cast, and c) the dance routines are flawless.

Jones and Holt make for an impressive (if not quite sizzling) couple. It helps that there's a great sense of fun to be had with it all. Maybe it's down to the excitement in the room. Perhaps it was more to do with the epic closing scene. My guess is that it's a little bit of both. Which is fine by me.HHHII

Running until February 25

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