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I first saw this show last year at Wolverhampton Grand Theatre, and as soon as I came out of the theatre, I knew I wanted to see it again.

The story probably doesn’t need any recapping, especially for women of my generation, but in essence, it is set in 1963 and revolves around Frances ‘Baby’ Houseman, who goes on holiday with her parents and sister, to Kellermans Holiday Resort. Baby is the apple of her father’s eye, and at the tender age of sixteen, has her sights set on changing the world, one good cause at a time.

When she meets dance instructor Johnny Castle however, her eyes are opened to a world completely new to her, and much to the disapproval of her father, who instantly dislikes Johnny and blames him for getting dance partner Penny ‘in trouble’, Baby falls in love.

The show is packed with amazing dancing and terrific songs, and is colourful and fun from start to finish. Lewis Kirk and Jessie Hart played Johnny and Baby, and both were great. Unfortunately, I was completely mesmerised by Gareth Bailey in the role of Johnny Castle last year, and I doubt that anybody could have matched up to him. Bailey was also taller and more muscular than Kirk, and physically probably fitted the part a little better. However, that is not to take anything away from Lewis Kirk, who was certainly appreciated by the mainly female audience.

Fans of the film need not worry – all the classic scenes and lines are there, and most of them got cheers of recognition from the audience.

I definitely recommend this show – this is the second time I have seen it, and if I get the chance, I will be going to see it again.

(Click here for more information about this production.)

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Click here for my review of this production from October 2014.

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The story is well known – in 1963, young Frances ‘Baby’ Houseman, goes on holiday to the Kellerman resorts in the Catskills, with her parents and sister.  There, she falls for dance instructor Johnny Castle, a man who seems totally mis-matched for her in every way.  It’s a classic film, with Jennifer Grey and Patrick Swayze taking the lead roles. (Swayze subsequently became a heartthrob for a whole generation of women.)

In my completely unknowledgeable mind, I imagine that this must be quite a challenge to transfer to stage – but my goodness, they certainly managed it.  This show stays extremely faithful to the film (I imagine there would be hell to pay from the audience if it didn’t), and includes all the classic lines and songs.

Roseanna Frascona was adorable as Baby (and looked for all the world like the twin of Jennifer Grey as she appeared in the film), and Gareth Bailey was a wonderful Johnny Castle – the mainly female audience certainly seemed to appreciate him!  His dancing was mesmerising; I could have watched him dance for hours.  Claire Rogers was terrific as Penny, Johnny’s dance partner – with legs that seemingly go on and on!  The rest of the main cast, and the ensemble dancers were also terrific.

This show is sexy, energetic, funny and sweet – and I even had a tear in my eye at the finale.  At the performance I attended, the whole audience gave an extended standing ovation, and it was well deserved.  I’m already looking to see if I can get tickets for further performances while this show is on tour.  Very highly recommended.

(For more information about this production, please click here.)

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Click here for my review of this production from May 2015.

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