BWW Review: DIRTY DANCING, King's Theatre, Glasgow
The latest UK tour of Eleanor Bergstein's Dirty Dancing is brought to life using refreshing staging, but with the nostalgic feel of the 1987 classic movie.
Kira Malou stars as Frances "Baby" Houseman, who is holidaying at the wholesome all-American Kellerman's resort with her sister Lisa (Lizzie Ottley) and parents Jake and Marjorie (Lynden Edwards and Lori Haley Fox).
Whilst there, she falls under the spell of dance instructor Johnny (Michael O'Reilly in his professional debut) as she takes the place of his dance partner, Penny, at a performance at a neighbouring hotel. Baby becomes entangled in the lives of Kellerman's staff and is quickly drawn in to their world of raunchy dancing and risque behaviour.
Fans of the iconic story will enjoy Gillian Bruce's choreography, which incorporates bigger ensemble numbers as well as the famous final dance. Staging and set design are used to great effect, with effortless scene changes and an interesting take on a dance rehearsal in the lake. An onstage band playing a variety of instruments adds to the authentic 1960s holiday resort feel.
In general the cast are strong, with Simone Covele a particular standout as Penny. Kira Malou conveys Baby's innocence perfectly and is convincing in her portrayal of learning to dance. Michael O'Reilly is mesmerising as Johnny and the Glasgow audience were eagerly awaiting his delivery of the memorable "Nobody puts Baby in the corner" line.
Dirty Dancing plays at the King's Theatre, Glasgow until 25 May before continuing its UK tour