There is no doubting that this latest tour of Dirty Dancing left the audience having the time of their lives however there were elements of the show that left me wanting more.
The soundtrack to this show is famous throughout the world so I expected some really good things from hearing it live. Unfortunately the majority of the show is performed to a CD, albeit a very good one, and 3 highly talented musicians appear on stage at different times throughout the show, mainly in the Kellerman hall sections. The singing from all the cast is excellent but where they really steal the show, as you would expect, is the dancing.
The second half of the show was definitely the better half. The first half moves through the story at a whistle stop pace, which is a shame when the story is so good, and the dancing really comes alive. By the end of the show, after the impressive song and dance numbers at the end of the show, you end up on your feet dancing and cheering.
Michael O'Reilly, who has the unenviable task of playing Johnny Castle, is perfect for the role. He has the voice and the looks and the moments of the show that see him without his top on is definitely a winner with the ladies in the audience. This for me was a slight negative for the show as it felt like moments had been created for Michael to strip off purely for the entertainment of the audience and it felt like it cheapened the story line, this was particularly the case when one song starts with watching 3 maids change outfits, this felt like it was purely there to try and even out the balance so the men could have something to look at as well.
Kira Malou is brilliant as Baby and has a brilliant chemistry with Michael, she has a long and promising career ahead of her.
Overall I enjoyed the show but it is not one I would rush back to see straight away. It is enjoyable to watch and has an excellent set and the cast are excellent but some directorial decisions have made the show feel cheaper and like it has been created on a budget. If you are a fan of the film then you will enjoy the show but I would say this is a show that is only worth seeing once.
Reviewed by Daniel Keen at the Regent Theatre, Stoke-on-Trent.
Dirty Dancing is currently touring the country until 17th August 2019. For more information and tickets visit the shows website.