Karen Koren: When the Dancing gets Dirty

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I DON’T like to say bad things about theatre productions. However, I cannot tell you how embarrassed I was by the show that “every red-blooded girl” has been paying extortionate ticket prices to see.

I refer to Dirty Dancing, a show that is, at best, mediocre.

Now, as I hope you’re all aware, I’m usually very supportive of shows that come to Edinburgh and I do love a musical.

So, I bought my tickets with great anticipation, front row of the circle, excellent seats. The stage version of the “feelgood” film could not fail to entertain … or so I thought.

As it turned out, the script is the film script. Sorry, was I really in a theatre listening to words that work on film but leave long gaps when delivered on what was a pretty bare stage, with a revolve to give the impression that characters walked further than they did?

I had no problem with the projected set, which transported the audience to Lake Lure, North Carolina, but the scene in which Baby and Johnny Castle practiced the Lift was just embarrassing – projected water with the lover/dancers in a wee spotlight, laughing every time they fell into a “black hole”.

Every time the skinny excuse for a Patrick Swayze swung his wide-eyed Baby, he did it so vigorously I thought her head was going to fall off. I’m not even going to mention the bedroom scenes – yuck!

Still, women went in their droves and squealed like lovesick teenagers. I am so glad that this time, next year, the Lion King will be on. At least that’s a sophisticated production, which I enjoyed on Broadway.