Yes it’s a massive cliché, but this Monday at the Gala performance of Dirty Dancing, I really did have the time of my life. I have wanted to see the stage show since it began and was so excited to be seated in the third row (close enough to appreciate Johnny’s ‘finer points’).
Monday night’s show was the 1500th and the cast was on top form. The ensemble was particularly outstanding. They danced with consistent upbeat energy and the girls in particular showcased a ridiculous amount of flexibility (all kicking their legs well behind their ears). The ‘down and dirty’ dancing scenes were as steamy, if not more so than in the film – It was almost as if you were watching the film in 3D.
The amazing Patrick Swayze (swoon)
The actors playing Baby and Johnny both put on a great show, which could have easily been disappointing if they hadn’t lived up to the characters most of us have grown up loving. After the show we got to meet both of the actors in the Stalls Bar. Hannah Vassallo (Baby) was as delightful as her on screen character – minus the sometimes slightly irritating naivety, which can only really be a good thing. I also discovered that she used to dance with Matthew Bourne’s dance company (and p.s Bourne’s ‘Car Man’ is amazing). As well as nailing Baby’s character and mannerisms, Hannah is obviously an amazingly talented dancer.
Martin Harvey (Johnny) certainly busted all the right moves and the teenage girls in the front row vocalised their appreciation. His ballet training (previously a soloist dancer with the Royal Ballet) was more than evident and the chemistry between the whole cast was really natural and believable.
The other stars of the show? The infamous final ‘lift’, the stunning props and scenery (including a life size tree) and the music – try to leave the Aldwych theatre not singing that you did indeed have the time of your life…
CLICK HERE to visit the official Dirty Dancing at the Aldwych website and to book tickets