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Going into this performance I had this to say “I hope they didn’t write a bunch of shitty original songs for the musical. I just want to hear the film’s soundtrack.” Are these the words of an asshole or someone who believes the purity of Dirty Dancing the film shouldn’t be compromised for Dirty Dancing the musical?

I was not disappointed. No one could possibly be disappointed by this musical. As the lights dimmed and we heard the pounding of the drums which indicated the beginning of The Ronettes’ Be My Baby I jumped up and down in my seat like a child. A child about to watch a musical about sexual discovery and erotic dancing, that kind of child.

The play itself moves at much the same pace as the film. In fact the lines seemed to be delivered fairly quickly which felt a bit rushed at times but that’s okay. Most of the people in the audience knew what was coming next which was oddly comforting. The woman behind me was occasionally predicting upcoming lines. Eventually I joined in because why have one super fan when you can have two? It gives the entire production a kind of concert feeling except instead of mouthing along to our favorite song we’re silently speaking our favorite dialogue such as…

And of course…

Let us never forget the dancing. Oh how they danced! It was just as dirty as promised and the finale was everything you could possibly hope for. There was definitely more commentary on the racial tensions of the 60’s in the play than in the film but it wasn’t shoehorned in and that’s what was prevalent during those times. If you’re a fan of the film you should see this play. If you’ve never seen the film, shame on you but still see this play. I hate to say it, and you know what’s coming next but you’ll have…

Dirty Dancing is at The National Theatre now through September 14th. Tickets are on sale now! Go! Carry a watermelon!

 

 

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