Producers Karl Sydow and Paul Elliott are delighted to announce that the new UK production of DIRTY DANCING – The Classic Story On Stage, currently wowing audiences around the country on its UK tour, will play a season in the West End this Christmas, mambo-ing into the Phoenix Theatre for thirty performances only from 6 to 31 December 2016.
Starring Lewis Griffiths as ‘Johnny Castle’, Katie Hartland as ‘Baby Houseman’ and Carlie Milner as ‘Penny Johnson’, the UK tour has taken over £5.5million pounds since it hit the road in August.
The classic story of Baby and Johnny, featuring the hit songs ‘Hungry Eyes’, ‘Hey! Baby’, ‘Do You Love Me?’ and the heart stopping ‘(I’ve Had) The Time Of My Life’, returns to the UK, following two blockbuster West End runs, two hit UK tours, and various sensational international productions.
Full of passion and romance, heart-pounding music and sensationally sexy dancing, the record-breaking show has been reconceived in an all new production created by an innovative new creative team; directed by Federico Bellone, choreographed by Gillian Bruce and with design re-imagined by top Italian set designer Roberto Comotti. The production premiered in Milan in July 2015, subsequently packing out the 15,000 seat Roman Arena in Verona, and then played a season in Rome.
The rest of the company are: Simone Craddock as ‘Marjorie Houseman’, Roger Martin ‘as Max Kellerman’, Jo Servi as ‘Tito Suarez’, Lizzie Ottley as ‘Lisa Houseman’, Michael Kent as ‘Billy Kostecki’, Greg Fossard as ‘Neil Kellerman’, Tony Stansfield as ‘Mr Schumacher’, and Daniela Pobega as ‘Elizabeth’, and Camilla Rowland as ‘Vivian’. Also joining the company are Gabby Antrobus, Simon Campbell, Robert Colvin, Michael Cookson, Katie Eccles, Beth Highsted, Matthew James Hinchliff, Samuel John Humphreys, Megan Louch, Ashley Rumble, Callum Sterling, Austin Wilks and Karl James Wilson, who is the Alternate ‘Johnny Castle’.
It’s the summer of 1963, and 17 year- old Frances ‘Baby’ Houseman is about to learn some major lessons in life as well as a thing or two about dancing. On holiday in New York’s Catskill Mountains with her older sister and parents, she shows little interest in the resort activities, and instead discovers her own entertainment when she stumbles across an all-night dance party at the staff quarters. Mesmerised by the raunchy dance moves and the pounding rhythms, Baby can’t wait to be part of the scene, especially when she catches sight of Johnny Castle the resort dance instructor. Her life is about to change forever as she is thrown in at the deep end as Johnny’s leading lady both on-stage and off, and two fiercely independent young spirits from different worlds come together in what will be the most challenging and triumphant summer of their lives.
Lewis Griffiths has had a prolific career in musical theatre, most recently starring as ‘Nick Massi’ on the UK tour of Jersey Boys. Other roles in UK tours include Ghost and Legally Blonde, and West End credits include Priscilla Queen of the Desert, Rent and Whistle Down the Wind.
Katie Hartland has made her professional musical theatre debut carrying the watermelons as she takes on the role of ‘Baby Houseman’, having graduated from the Royal Central School of Speech and Drama in 2015.
Carlie Milner is part of the Dirty Dancing family; starting as a member of the ensemble in 2014, she covered and subsequently took over the role of ‘Penny’ in 2015.