There’s grit in this Dirty Dancing

REVIEW – Dirty Dancing

Southend Cliffs Pavilion (Until Sat 3 Nov)

DIRTY dancing is one of those iconic films that has achieved legendary status – possibly above what it really is. However, it’s much-loved and when it was turned into a stage musical it found a whole new fanbase.
The show has shone in the West End and also at regional theatres around the country.
This week it’s at Southend’s Cliffs Pavilion and it’s packing them in.
It’s the summer of 1963 and the Houseman family have their first vacation at Kellerman’s.
After the activities of the camp can’t entertain her, Baby stumbles across a party behind the scenes for the staff and she first meets Johnny Castle, the resort dance instructor.
Her life is changed when Johnny’s leading lady has to forgo their dance at the Sheldrake Hotel which means forgoing their summer wages. Baby steps in and is taught the complicated routines required by vulnerable Johnny but in doing so they fall in love.
So that’s the story.?What’s it like?
Well the set was pretty amazing and with a curtain pulled across the stage they even simulated the water scene.
The dancers were fantastic and leading man Micheal O’Rielly even managed to effortlessly do The Lift. Kira Malou was superb as Frances “baby” Houseman and Simone Covele was mesmerizing as Penny.
If I’m honest it was all a little more near the knuckle than I thought it would be, with a couple of scenes that would make you blush.
However, it was still a good likeness to the film.
There was a special guest in the audience, Eleanor Bergstein writer of Dirty Dancing and after a pretty special opening evening on Tuesday the cast received a well deserved standing ovation.

I suspect it won’t be the last this week.