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So am back from London and very tired... but thought i must get blog up and running while thoughts are still on my head from the fab afternoon I had yesterday :) Yesterday also made me thing of how the tiniest little things can change people's lives for ever - Darren and I were merely observers, but the smallest decision yesterday led to a very emotional rollercoaster of events and the outcome would have been very different if the other path in the road had been taken. Very sliding doors, I know...

I just have to confess one thing - on the tube to the theatre I was chewing some gum to keep my breath minty fresh and was chatting to Cat and Helen. The train was rather busy and as we pushed past people to get off, Cat made me laugh and my chewing gum fell out and landed in some poor womans hair :O I was too scared to do anything so quickly got off the tube and ran away! If in the unlikely scenario that you are reading this: I'm Sorry!! Anyway, I have lots of good stuff in my head for this week, so we will see how much of it gets to the blog and how inevitably gets pushed back by other stuff I want to do...

THE TIME OF YOUR LIFE:

Now, Dirty Dancing was a big part of my life in the late 80s/early 90s. I was darn near obsessed with that film, the music and the message at the heart of it. It represented to me a world where people were able to discover themselves and express themselves how they desired. Watching it at a much older age, I realised it wasn't as idealistic a world as I first thought and that with every action comes a consequence. But still, the film is one of my favourites so I just knew that I had to go and see the stage version that is on previews in London this very week...


And I'm glad I did as it was one of the most thrilling, spine tingling, emotional visits to the theatre I've had in a long time. I think along with Wicked and The History Boys, I've had a trio of amazing theatre visits that will stay with me for a long time. The joy of the musical version of this film is that it is pretty much transferred word for word, step for step to the stage - with some scenes expanded and some more character development for some of the bit parts. You might think that lacks creativity or spark, but what it achieves is bringing the audience into the experience in a way the film couldn't achieve. The theatre practically crackled with anticipation as fans waited for some of their favourite lines:

  • i carried a watermelon
  • and most of all i'm scared of walking out of this room and never feeling again the way I feel when i'm with you
  • nobody puts Baby in the corner...
It would be impossible for me to go through all the great moments without this post being a hundred metres long, but here are some of the highlights:

~ the stage set - the design team did an amazing job of recreating the scenes from the movie (the log where Baby and Johnny practice their balance; the water where they practice their lifts; the bridge where Baby gets her steps wrong during the Wipeout song...)
~ the choreography was as thrilling as it is in the film. I loved how everything was choreographed in this from the way the waiters put the plates on the table to how the cast move when not dancing. It may not seem a huge thing but it really enhanced the stage experience...
~ the cast! Josef Brown (surely the love child of Patrick Swayze and Richard Gere) was great as Johnny (and had a ridiculously toned body that had several girls baking cream pies in their pants) while Georgina Rich as Baby did an amazing job of making the role her own. My fave by far though was Nadia Coote as Penny. Such an amazing dancer and incredibly pretty - the stage practically combusted every time she was on it...
~ the character of neil - the hotel managers grandson - was expanded and made imminently more likeable as he battles his desire to please his grandfather and the effect Baby has on him to go on a freedom rally and change the world. Quite lovely...
~ the sexual tension - when Baby has her first "dirty dance" with Johnny in the staff quarters, you can almost see the moment of sexual awakening on Georgina Rich's face. The actress did an amazing job of conveying nervousness, giddy fun and a strange glow all in one nuanced look. Stunning. Similarly, the hungry eyes song by Eric Carmen (surely a great christmas cover for Shayne Ward??) where Penny assists Johnny and Baby with the dance moves becomes an almost embarrassing to watch sexual hotpot of threesomey goodness.
~ the final song - of course Time Of Your Life is going to be the main highlight. But it's how good it is on the stage that is the shocker. The dance moves are exactly the same and carried out with amazing precision. The theatre was so alive and the audience were literally part of the song, a kellermans audience willing their favourite new couple onto greater things...

So I guess overall I liked it:)

ALL NEW HOLIDAY DIARY POSTED HERE...

Coming soon... a bit of a pet shop boys special (bsides and those Robbie tracks); fashion special; the up and coming new boy singers; the perfect Deborah Gibson christmas single; more live lounge refresh; something on lois and clark; probably a bit more on Lemony Snicket; and lots more....

3 Comments:

  1. J'ason D'luv said...
    I think the last musical I saw was Mama Mia in Vegas back in 2003. And then before that was... hmmm... well, I was in a couple musicals in high school. My buddy AL, though, loved Wicked. Um, okay, I've run out of things to say about musicals.
    Paul said...
    i didn't really care for Mama Mia in vegas (at mandalay bay right? We had the best upgrade there once!) - i didn't think the cast were that great. Clearly i am very into my musicals. I would SO go and see High School Musical if it ever took to the stage ;)
    B said...
    Sounds like this adaptation is much better than that other great 80s movie that they wrecked onstage, Footloose. Glad to hear.

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