"Dirty Dancing" writer and co-producer Eleanor Bergstein says she hopes to begin workshopping a stage adaptation of the movie that captured national attention and became a surprise box-office hit in 1987.
Bergstein told Playbill On-Line that the production, which is still in its infancy, will likely be done with Dodger Endemol Theatricals. Dodger Endemol also produces Footloose, a stage adaptation that features songs from the film by Tom Snow and lyrics by Dean Pitchford.
The film "Dirty Dancing" featured its own hit song, "(I've Had The) Time of My Life" by John De Nicola, Donald Markowitz and Franke Jon Previte. Bergstein, who said she controls the rights to "Dirty Dancing," indicated that the runaway hit would be as integral to the stage show as it was to the film.
Speaking at the 52nd Annual Writers Guild Awards dinner on March 5, Bergstein said, "We should begin workshops soon."
In a nod to her guild, Bergstein said she had a real appreciation for the benefits of collective bargaining after learning that she had retained her rights and was free to develop Dirty Dancing for the stage. In 1987, "Dirty Dancing" caused a box-office and media sensation, surprising many naysayers. "They told me, 'Be happy you've written something that will only be seen by kids...and will be quickly forgotten,'" Bergstein recalled. "They figured it would be in the theatres for a short time and then it would go to video. It was really the box office that kept it alive."
-- By Murdoch McBride