Dirty Dancing, the Classic Story on Stage in Hong Kong

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A couple of weeks ago, I was in Hong Kong to watch Dirty Dancing, the Musical. I haven’t seen the movie in years, but I still very vividly remember Patrick Swayze and Jennifer Grey, and how their characters, Johnny Castle and Frances ‘Baby’ Houseman fell in love one summer thru dancing. Of course, the movie is hard to forget if you’ve seen it–the film was an unbelievable success when it was released in 1987. It had super memorable lines like, “nobody puts Baby in the corner”, as well as a theme song we all know and love: (I’ve Had) The Time Of My Life. And how can one forget THE iconic lift?!! It must be every girl’s dream to be lifted the exact same way! Haha.

I thought it was interesting that they did a musical based on a movie. It was hard to imagine at first how they would adapt the story for stage, but when I finally saw it, it all made sense. For me though, it was more of a “dance-ical”, because characters would break into dance (and not into song), which was fun to watch. There was a lot of singing too, don’t get me wrong. Its just that the characters still spoke their dialogue instead of sang it. Another thing I loved was how hit songs from the soundtrack were performed by a live band. This gave the show an electrifying energy, and made the audience feel connected to the story. I just love the songs! I remember when I first watched the movie I immediately looked for the soundtrack, which I still play today when I come across it in my playlist. Oh and the cast was INCREDIBLE! I was floored with the way they danced–they made it look so easy!

PRESS RELEASE–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 at a resort called Kellerman’s with her older sister and parents, ‘Baby’ shows little interest in the resort activities, and instead discovers her own entertainment when she stumbles upon the staff quarters where an all-night dance party is in full swing. She discovers an underworld of young men and women who spend all their free time dancing. She is mesmerized by the dance moves and the pounding rhythms and ‘Baby’ cant wait to be part of the scene, especially when she catches sight of Johnny Castle, the resort dance instructor. ‘Baby’s’ 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, with breathtaking consequences.

The live production offers audience experience further than the film as music and dance come alive with everybody on the dance floor. Each character performs movements of everyday life, driver from an individual personal line which makes it dynamic, instead of the traditional unison dancing. Truly a gorgeous feast of dancing!

Featuring a cast of 26 who sing a score of 55 songs played by a live band, performing 73 scene changes; which are lit by 200 moving lights and supported by 152 LED panels; 257 costumes, 123 pairs of shoes, 43 wigs and 216 costume changes a week for Baby alone, DIRTY DANCING – THE CLASSIC STORY ON STAGE is a true spectacular you will not want to miss.

IMG_5016Hong Kong. This was taken when we arrived at our hotel.

IMG_4906Our hotel, which I found a bit far (I usually stay in Central). It was still convenient though because they provide transportation from the hotel to Tsim Sha Tsui. I like that the rooms are big and very comfortable.

20130509_121925From shopping in Central I took the Star Ferry to go back to TST.

20130509_121910Through the window.

20130509_122107I love riding the ferry. Its super fast to go from Hong Kong side to Kowloon, and vise versa.

IMG_4940“Twinkling Star”

IMG_5032Love this view.

IMG_4942When I got to TST, what do I see–a giant rubber ducky!

IMG_4956So cute! There were ducks everywhere! This was right outside Harbour Plaza.

IMG_5018This giant rubber ducky is part of an exhibit that goes around the world.

20130509_154551And I’ve made it to the Cultural Centre of Hong Kong, where Dirty Dancing was showing.

20130509_154149Cultural Centre of Hong Kong.

20130509_180046Just outside Cultural Centre of HK was this amazing view.

20130509_175847Beautiful.

20130509_155946We got backstage access before the show where we were able to watch rehearsals. This is the costume area. Each character has so many changes in one show!

20130509_165355Dressing room.

20130509_164230Props.

20130509_164616Wigs, made of real human hair.

20130509_164541More wigs.

20130509_164031View from the stage.

20130509_170218Photo with lead character ‘Baby’, Bryony Whitfield.

20130509_175004With Gareth Bailey, who plays Johnny, and Bryony.

20130509_224749_LLSTaken just after the show. Dirty Dancing was UNBELIEVABLE!

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Big thanks to BAMBI VERZO and JIGS REODICA of Concertus Manila for this amazing trip! 

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