Dirty Dancing Review – The Empire Theatre

Details of Dirty Dancing

Show: Dirty Dancing

Location: The Empire Theatre, Liverpool

Date: 13th June 2023 (Running from 13th-17th)

Time: 19:30

Running Time: 180 Minutes (Including Interval)

Performers: Kira Malou, Michael O’Reilly, Georgia Aspinall, Jack Loy, Taryn Sudding, Daisy Steere, Danny Colligan, Colin Charles and more!

Production Company: Magic Hour Productions, Triple A Entertainment, & Lionsgate

Writer: Eleanor Bergstein

Director: Federico Bellone

Introduction to Dirty Dancing

Based on the hit film, Dirty Dancing the musical takes heavily from the movie but is a different story. With more songs and new scenes added. Whilst still including some of the most iconic scenes from the movie. It runs from the 13th-17th of June at the Empire Theatre.

The Story of Dirty Dancing

The story of Dirty Dancing follows the Houseman family on their family vacation. On which Frances ‘Baby’ Houseman grows a passion for dancing, and for the new style of dance. She ends up getting her chance through horrible circumstances as Penny, Johnny’s usual partner for dances, is unable to perform. With Johnny and Penny at risk of loosing their jobs Baby willing steps up to try and help out her new friends. Along the way falling in love with the young Matt-Bomer looking Johnny.

The Music of Dirty Dancing

Firstly lets look at the music. Overall it featured a healthy mix of memorable songs from the film and some newly added ones. The musical performances was outstanding and had me and several guests out of their seats clapping several times. I can’t single out a performer who sung badly. Colin Charles showcased his phenomenal pipes throughout. But the biggest and by no means a bad surprise came when two cast members sung the iconic song- ‘Time of My Life’ and the male singer could finally stretch his throat. They gave one the best, most passionate displays I have ever had the grace of hearing. All this partnered with beautiful choreography by Austin Wilks that Georgia Aspinall and others brought to life. There was no better casting for Penny, her skill seemed unmatched.

The Cast

The cast was spotless with the two romantic leads O’Reilly and Malou having such electric chemistry, it made the whole romance that much more believable. Colin Charles entertained with his dancing throughout. Yet it has to be said what Daisy Steere brought to the table comedy wise. He unique Betty Boop hair matched with her perfect performance of physical comedy made her one of the most memorable characters.

Set Design of Dirty Dancing

The sets were creative, and very fitting for the time period the story takes place. The massive usage of white really relays that USA summer feeling. The overhanging lights and other various set pieces such as the Miller’s sign all came and went with impressive fluidity. All set changes happened quickly and efficiently. I was particularly impressed with the amount of ingenuity on show. With various pieces slotting inside others, as well as sometimes creatively being reused for various locations.

Summary of Dirty Dancing

In summary Dirty Dancing the musical does the film justice and is more than an adequate retelling of a great romance story told in a different medium. With the focus still heavily being on the dancing, the music, and the love between two people. It is an amazing example of a romantic, musical entertainment at its best! Showcasing exactly why romantic musicals make perfect plays.  

WHAT A GOD-DAMN FINALE! Best finish to any piece of media I’ve watched since Jaws. I was fully swept up in the moment, lost in the romance of Baby and Johnny. If you like musicals, dancing, or plays in general- you NEED to watch Dirty Dancing!

Overall Rating: 10 – Masterpiece!

You can purchase tickets here!