I've had the time of my life...
Backing up a week or two, my Mother came to visit me in Chicago. Granted she is sorely disappointed that I moved back to Chicago because she liked the shopping better in NYC (when I say shopping, I mean buy fake purses on Canal Street). While here, we got tickets to see ‘Dirty Dancing’ the musical before it ships off to Broadway. My first instinct was “wow, that guy looks just like Patrick Swayze….that girl looks just like Jennifer Grey”. If you liked the movie, then you would love the musical since it was basically a scene for scene, line for line reproduction of the movie (granted they added one or two scenes and a few lines here and there to add depth or a greater meaning). Honestly, I don’t know why they would want to add a deeper meaning to “dirty dancing”. Ummm, the title basically says it all. We came to see racy magnificent dancing. I guess it is the equivalent to adding bacon to your salad.
Speaking of dancing, it was FUCKING AWESOME! They had a dozen or so dancers on the stage and they were all so good that I didn’t know who to watch. The leading contender was the girl who played “Penny”. She was tall and very lean (basically the exact same body as Penny from the movie) and the most amazing dancer I have ever seen. After the show, I looked up her bio to see that she was the principal dance for a famous ballet company for the last 8 years. Figures, that skinny bitch.
Now that you have heard the good, here is the bad. Patrick sounded funny…..really funny. He is an Aussie, so you could tell the producers were like “alright pal, lets try to lose that accent during these previews”. The end result was like a breathless Sylvester Stallone.
Sitting directly in front of us were the most immature middle-aged women ever. During the “Penny is in trouble” scene, in an utterly quiet captivated theater, the pair suddenly burst out in a giggle fit….that lasted five minutes. Before it was over, we had the entire audience glaring at us and I was ready to start pointing fingers to indicate it WASN’T ME cracking up during an abortion.
I don’t know if you could classify the show as a “musical” since practically no on sings. Two or three token actors/actresses sang one or two songs, but the majority of the music was straight off of the soundtrack. I’d like that job, wait for que….insert Dirty Dancing soundtrack CD, press play. When the token players did sing, they would stay off to the side to let the dancers take the stage (and our attention). Kind of like in Cirq-de-Sole where the acrobats entertain and the singers just creep around in the background.
Since the production was practically line-for-line from the movie, the crowd was highly anticipating some choice phrases. The place erupted when Baby said “I carried a watermelon….I CARRIED a watermelon”. Everyone practically tore their seat cushions out when Patrick/Johnny busted into the dance hall and said “nobody puts baby in the corner”. I admit, I screamed and clapped my hands like a school girl. Go ahead, judge me. At least I didn’t run out and purchase the baby pink hot shots with that same catch phase across the rear. Try to explain that without utter embarrassment a month later when the sugar high has worn off.