Sunday, May 10, 2009

review - Dirty Dancing

Dirty Dancing
conceived & written by Eleanor Bergstein
directed by James Powell
Pantages Theatre
through June 28
"(I've Had) The Time of My Life". Maybe Baby has, but as for me? Please, let's not go that far!
This show, almost an exact replica of the 1987 film of the same name, is very entertaining for two reasons: the incredible set and effects and the performance of Amanda Leigh Cobb as Baby.
Cobb will steal your heart away. She is forthright, steady and makes Baby's maturity, both in dance and girlhood, quite an unforgettable experience. Josef Brown as Johnny Castle has a great body and dances superbly, but needs to work on speaking English without an accent. At times it was difficult for me to understand what he was saying. Kudos as well to Katlyn Carlson as sister Lisa whose Hula audition number is a scene grabber. John Bolger does fine work with Baby's father, and it was great to see Kaitlin Hopkins as the mother, although her talent is wasted here. Gorgeous Britta Lazenga does good honest work with the role of Penny. The entire ensemble does some dynamite footwork, thanks as well to choreographer Kate Champion.
It is Stephen Brimson Lewis' set design that takes center stage - and those glorious special effects that made me almost believe that Johnny and Baby were dancing in the the fields...
This is an audience pleaser from start to finish. Even though the action slows down to a crawl in Act II, and the show seems far too long, fans of Dirty Dancing will revel in it and scream for more!
4 out of 5 stars


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