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The 80s Classic ‘Dirty Dancing’ Comes to Philly

One of the most iconic flicks from the 1980’s, Patrick Swayze and Jennifer Grey mambo’ed, salsa’ed, merengue’d into a generation of living rooms in Dirty Dancing. The hit film has since been transferred to stage from silver screen by musical book writer Eleanor Bergstein, in an adaptation which flawlessly mirrors her original screenplay. As a part of the *Kimmel Center’s Broadway Philadelphia 2014-15 series, Dirty Dancing is playing at the Academy of Music now through April 5th.

Samuel Pergande (Johnny) and Jillian Mueller (Baby) /  Image by Matthew Murphy

Samuel Pergande (Johnny) and Jillian Mueller (Baby) /
Image by Matthew Murphy

Fans of the movie will thoroughly enjoy this staged production, which pulls most every joke, famed quote, and mesmerizing scene straight from the film reel. The set utilizes fantastical video projections, sliding and revolving doors and pieces to transport audiences through the various locales in Kellerman’s resort – from the dining hall, to the golf course, to the staff’s after hours party spot. We’re even given a sound effect-laden visual of Johnny and Baby dancing and practicing lifts on a fallen tree trunk, in the field, and in the water! What’s more, the bi-level set pieces cleverly open to host a live band playing on the upper floor for multiple numbers throughout the show.

While most of the 80’s hits like “Hungry Eyes”, “Love is Strange (Lover Boy),” and “Do You Love Me” are overlaid by recording just like the movie’s soundtrack; the real MVPs of the show, Doug Carpenter and Jenlee Shallow, provide sultry and soulful vocal performances throughout both acts. The stars of Dirty Dancing‘s national tour are practically identical to their characters from the film, and the supporting ensemble is comprised of insanely talented dancers who are given unlimited limelight in which to show off their craft.

Follow Kimmel Center on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram @KimmelCenter, and when you attend, be sure to use the hashtag #DirtyDancingOnTour!

*Philly PR Girl is a social media ambassador for the Kimmel Center