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Dirty Dancing Musical to Play US National Tour

Jacobsen Entertainment, in association with Lionsgate and Magic Hour Productions has announced the U.S. premiere of the international stage hit Dirty Dancing - The Classic Story On Stage by Eleanor Bergstein, writer of the iconic blockbuster movie. 

The National Tour will premiere September 2, 2008 at Chicago's Cadillac Palace Theatre (151 W. Randolph St.), as part of the Broadway In Chicago Season Series. 

Casting, additional tour dates and ticket information will be announced at a later date.

Following its record breaking, sellout premiere in Australia and New Zealand, Dirty Dancing: The Classic Story On Stage is currently playing to sold-out houses in London's West End and Hamburg, Germany.  A production scheduled to open in Toronto this November, is already setting sales records in Canada. 

Dirty Dancing is, according to press notes, "a coming of age love story involving the talented and headstrong dancer Johnny Castle and Frances "Baby" Houseman.  During her family's summer vacation at the popular Kellerman's resort, Baby, a doctor's daughter with dreams of joining the Peace Corps, meets Johnny, the guy from the wrong side of the tracks.  Against all odds, they fall in love, learning life-changing lessons along the way.  Dirty Dancing follows the highs and lows of their summer romance.  The original story of Dirty Dancing has been expanded for the stage.  While keeping magical moments from the film, in the theater, Baby and Johnny's relationship is developed further; there is more sensational dancing; and, more music, joining favorite songs like the Academy Award-winning '(I've Had) The Time Of My Life,' 'Hungry Eyes,' 'Hey Baby' and  'Do You Love Me?,'" state press notes.

The acclaimed creative team responsible for the record-breaking London production of Dirty Dancing will bring the show to the United States.  Directed by James Powell, with choreography by Kate Champion, the team also includes:  Stephen Brimson Lewis (set design), Jennifer Irwin (costume design), Tim Mitchell (lighting design), Bobby Aitken (sound design), Jon Driscoll (video and projection design), Craig Wilson (Latin and Ballroom dance choreographer), and Conrad Helfrich who continues to serve as musical supervisor. 

Executive Producer Kevin Jacobsen OAM said, "Dirty Dancing – The Classic Story On Stage broke records in Australia and New Zealand, and broke box office records when it opened in Hamburg, Germany.  Following Hamburg we launched in London's West End with the largest advance in theatrical history.  Dirty Dancing opened at the Aldwych Theatre in 2006 with record advance sales, and this historical record is being maintained to this day. The London production received overwhelming reviews from the UK critics. Sales in the UK continue to be extremely strong, and Toronto is also breaking box office records in advance sales at the Royal Alexandra Theatre prior to the opening in November. We hope that American audiences will be as eager to see the show as audiences throughout the rest of the world have been."

Writer and creator Eleanor Bergstein added, "I originally wrote the movie because I love to dance.  Since the movie opened, the openhearted audience response has made me believe that everyone has a secret dancer inside them; one they feel could connect them to the physical world in the way they dream.  As I learned how many people watched the movie over and over and over, I began to think that what they really wanted was to share more intensely in the event, to step through the screen, and be there while the story was happening.  And if that was true, then its natural form was live theater – audiences watching live bodies dancing here and now in the present – on the log, on the bridge, on the dance floor, and in the staff quarters at Kellerman's. Writing it for the stage, I was also able to add more Baby and Johnny scenes, more about the family, more songs I couldn't afford last time, and, most exciting of all – more dancing."

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Photo of Josef Brown and Nadia Coote by David Scheinmann (from London production)

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