Dirty Dancing comes to the CCP
SOUNDS FAMILIAR - Baby A. Gil (The Philippine Star) - April 5, 2013 - 12:00am

Good news. Dirty Dancing is coming to Manila. The smash version of the musical from London’s West End will be on a limited run of only 22 shows at the Main Theater of the Cultural Center of the Philippines (CCP) starting from July 4 to 21. Great that after treating us to the gothic romance of Phantom of the Opera, Concertus Manila is bringing over a surfeit of over the top dance moves set to a generous helping of hit tunes in one of the most endearing love stories ever made for the screen. And it will now be seen live on stage.

Presented by Visa for its Manila premiere, Dirty Dancing — The Classic Story On Stage, is based on the phenomenally successful motion picture from 1987. The musical is written by Eleanor Bergstein, who was also the screenwriter of the original film. It starred the late Patrick Swayze, Jennifer Grey, Jerry Orbach and Cynthia Rhodes. It is the story of a teenager called Baby, whose life is transformed one summer in a mountain resort when she met Johnny, a most attractive dance instructor, and of course, when she learned how to dance.

The movie Dirty Dancing had great quotes like, “Nobody puts Baby in a corner,” eye-popping dance sequences, that started the dirty dancing trend, and a fantastic, big-selling jukebox soundtrack of hits from the ’60s. Aside from the theme song, the Academy Award-winning song (I’ve Had) The Time Of My Life a duet by Bill Medley and Jennifer Warnes. This CD also featured Big Girls Don’t Cry by Frankie Valli & the Four Seasons; Be My Baby by The Ronettes; Stay by Maurice Williams & The Zodiacs; Some Kind Of Wonderful by The Drifters; In The Still Of The Night by The Five Satins; and many others.

Dirty Dancing — The Classic Story On Stage is said to be just as spectacular. Think 55 songs played by a live orchestra with groundbreaking sets, fabulous costumes and breathtaking dancing. In fact, the musical, which was first performed in Australia, has already broken box-office records in several countries. I am already excited about this show, save for just one problem. I will miss Patrick Swayze.

I still recall how sad a lot of people were when Swayze died of cancer some years ago. They all recalled how handsome and virile he was in Dirty Dancing. No wonder People Magazine named him Sexiest Man Alive. They swooned over that now iconic dance scene in the finale, which still gets millions of views on the Net. I cannot help but think that any girl would have the courage to make that dangerous leap if she would land on the arms of Swayze. And talk about double jeopardy, he was also magnificent in Ghost. Remember that pottery scene?

But back to Dirty Dancing. Whoever will play Johnny at the CCP had better be great-looking, a fine sensitive actor and an extraordinarily gifted dancer. Let us see how he fares. Tickets are now available on ticketworld.com.ph.

Dirty Dancing is not the only show available within the next few months for theater-loving folks hereabouts. Opening at the Carlos P. Romulo Auditorium of the RCBC Plaza in Makati on April 20 is the Viva Atlantis Theatricals production of The Full Monty directed by Chari Arrespacochaga. Ready to let everything go or I should say, hang out, is a superb cast led by Mark Bautista, Arnel Ignacio, Jamie Wilson, OJ Mariano, Nino Alejandro and balladeer Marco Sison.

Also coming soon is Disney’s Tarzan starring Rachelle Ann Go as Jane and Broadway star Dan Domenech as Tarzan on June 14 at the Meralco Theater. Next on tap will be the rerun of the hugely-successful Rock of Ages starring MiG Ayesa at the Carlos P. Romulo Auditorium of the RCBC Plaza on July 5; then the musical version of the thriller Carrie also at the same venue on Sept. 20; to be followed by the Addams Family also at the Meralco on Nov. 14 with Eula Valdez as Morticia Adams.

Then just so you’ll know that Filipinos are also perfectly capable of putting together an entertaining musical for the stage, there is Katy, directed by Nestor Torre at the Meralco Theater come July 19. This is based on the life of Filipino vaudeville legend Katy de la Cruz. It is one of the most successful local musicals ever made and is getting a repeat engagement after a successful run at the CCP a few months ago. In the cast are Isay Alvarez, Tirso Cruz III, Gian Magdangal and Lou Veloso.

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