Review: Dirty Dancing at the Alexandra, Birmingham

Anyone heading to the Alexandra, Birmingham, this week is guaranteed to have the Time of Their Life.

Dirty Dancing - The Classic Story on Stage
Dirty Dancing - The Classic Story on Stage

And that's because Dirty Dancing has made its return to the stage and is a true tribute to the popular 1980s film.

Few films have stood the test of time like Dirty Dancing has – and it's stage adaptation is no different.

From the moment the music starts, you feel as if you are among the hotel's guests as the megaphone welcomed the audience to their stay at Kellerman's in the summer of 1963.

Dirty Dancing tells the story of Frances 'Baby' Houseman as she joins her family on a holiday to Kellerman's where she meets the handsome Johnny Castle.

The film is known for its heartthrob lead character – the late Patrick Swayze – and Michael O'Reilly proves just as much of a hit with the ladies in the audience. He returns to the show in which he made his debut – and he has the audience in the palm of his hand with the first glance. Not to mention the dancing – he nails the iconic routines just like the film.

Kira Malou is also perfectly cast as the leading lady – and could easily be mistaken for Jennifer Grey herself. And their on-screen chemistry is so believable that you're hooked on their relationship from the get-go.

I've seen the stage adaptation of Dirty Dancing a number of times now, and I can honestly say Kira and Michael were the most believable Johnny and Baby after Jennifer and Patrick themselves.

Carlie Milner as Penny is mesmerising with her beautiful dancing, while Lizzie Ottley is stand-out for her take on Baby's sister Lisa. A personal favourite of mine from the show – and film – is her audition for the end of season show.

Colin Charles as Tito Suarez was also entertaining – and Samuel Bailey as Billy also performed a sensational solo of In The Still of The Night, a surprise for all.

The show is full of songs they everyone knows and loves from the popular film – including Hungry Eyes, She's Like The Wind, Do You Love Me, and, of course (I've Had) The Time Of My Life. And the Kellerman's Band are just fantastic.

Of course, the finale could only end one way – as Johnny makes his way through a back door through the stalls to announce that 'Nobody Puts Baby in the Corner'. The final dance is just breathtaking – and you're scared to even blink in case you miss a moment of it, including the iconic lift.

Overall, Dirty Dancing – The Classic Story on Stage has the audience laughing, cheering, single, whistling – and of course dancing in their seats by the end. It's a must-see for any movie fan.

Did I ask if anyone carried a watermelon?

Dirty Dancing – The Classic Story on Stage is at the Alexandra, Birmingham, until Saturday, October 16. For tickets, visit atgtickets.com.

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