Dirty Dancing Live

Jill Winternitz as Baby Houseman and Paul-Michael Jones as Johnny Castle

There are few films I know better than Dirty Dancing. It’s one of my all time favourites and has been since its release in 1987. I’ve got the video, the workout dvd (unused) and both soundtracks. For this reason, I was very excited to see it live at the Liverpool Empire. I believe the reviews from the west end weren’t favourable, but as it’s toured the country, the critics have seemed more impressed.

From a make up artist’s point of view, I must say that all the make up was spot on. (I read in the programme that it had all been supplied by MAC, which always guarantees quality.) However, my one criticism is of the wig worn by Jill Winternitz, who played Baby. What was that all about?? It was a bit too short, which resulted in the springy curls being even springier. And there was a straight fringe. Who thought the straight fringe was a good look? Whoever it was, they are wrong! The result of this was that Baby looked just that bit too young. Almost uncomfortably so.

“I carried a watermelon”

And yet, that was the only problem. All of the other hairstyles/wigs were fantastic. Great for the era, great for the characters and great for dancing around in. Every characters style was closely based on their film counterparts and rightly so. When you have a film as successful as Dirty Dancing, why mess with the formula?

Great Dancing, Great Music

All in all, the whole show was great fun. If you want authentic American accents, perhaps you should give it a miss. If you want incredible acting, maybe steer clear. But if you want a fun night of romance, excellent music and superb dancing (particularly by Paul-Michael Jones as Johnny and Nicky Griffiths as Penny) then I’d highly recommend it. After all, the music and dancing is the main point of Dirty Dancing anyway.

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