Dirty Dancing comes to the Empire

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Dirty Dancing at the Liverpool Empire

It is one of the sexiest, hottest, most popular ‘chick-flick’ films of all time and now ‘Dirty Dancing’ has returned in a new format as a stage production arrives in Liverpool this week.

The Empire Theatre will be graced by the presence of Johnny Castle and Frances ‘Baby’ Houseman – and a lot of steamy dancing – as the hit West End musical tours the country.

The city has been swarmed with posters for weeks  advertising the box office-breaking musical that will run at the Empire until October 27th.

As the movie story goes, it’s 1963 at Kellerman’s holiday resort as Baby, a bright young woman who plans to join the Peace Corps, and the rest of her family vacation at the upmarket hotel where Johnny, a hunky and dangerously handsome dancer works.

Baby soon becomes intrigued by the type of people she meets at Kellerman’s, especially those she was always told to stay away from.

Somewhere in between some salsa and mambo lessons and having ‘The Time of my Life’, Baby develops a crush on her dance teacher and despite his initial hesitation, Johnny too falls for her.

Brought together by seriously sultry seduction on the dancefloor, and a disapproving  family that forbids their relationship, the two can obviously not stay away from each other.

Unlike other musicals trying to put a new spin on movie classics, Paul-Michael Jones, who plays the character of Johnny told JMU Journalism that the director wanted to make everything as similar to the film as possible, recreating almost every move and scene from the original movie.

Paul-Michael Jones stars in Dirty Dancing

He said: “People aren’t coming to see a new Dirty Dancing, they want to see the original.”

When asked if he was nervous about trying to fill the late Patrick Swayze’s dancing shoes, Paul-Michael said that at the start of the show it was “a mixture of excitement and nerves”.

All the same, anyone who is able to do that famous run, jump and lift scene at the end of the show, without panicking and running the other direction, has no reason to be intimidated by anyone’s famous shadow.

Jones said that he was excited about performing in Liverpool: “The further north the tour goes, the rowdier the crowds get, which is what we want.”

 

About Lauren Kelly, JMU Journalism