As someone who always wanted to learn to dance (but never have really had the confidence to), Dirty Dancing was always a film that I have particularly enjoyed – mesmerised as much by the fabulous dancing as well as the wonderful chemistry between Patrick Swayze and Jennifer Grey. Now back in the West End – the musical is just as sexy and enjoyable, faithful to the film but able to find its own way with a couple of additional moments.
Based on the iconic 1952 musical film featuring Gene Kelly, Debbie Reynolds, and Donald O’Connor, Singin’ in the Rain has both a great pedigree and a lot to live up to. Now touring after successful runs in Chichester and at Sadler’s Wells, this joyous show taking affectionate aim at the moment the movies learned to talk is both a homage to its source and an entertaining show in its own right.
Bringing plenty of Hollywood glamour and class, Jonathan Church’s production of the classic musical Singin’ in the Rain is stunning from start to finish.
Two classic revivals — both coincidentally first launched in the spring and summer of 2011, one on Broadway (Anything Goes, in a production directed and choreographed by Kathleen Marshall), the other at Chichester, before transferring to the West End’s Palace Theatre (Singin’ in the Rain, directed by Jonathan Church with choreography by Andrew Wright) — have returned in triumph on consecutive nights this week.
What it is is a strong piece of musical theatre. Drew McOnie may be the director but he’s a choreographer through and through and it is here that Strictly Ballroom shines.
There’s something about the glitz and glamour of Hollywood’s golden age that continues to intrigue theatre goers. Some love the nostalgia, for others it’s a link to a time they never had a chance to experience themselves. Top Hat is a perfect example, the epitome of style over substance, it nevertheless manages to consistently draw in the crowds.