Dirty Dancing Will Be Part of Pantages Season in Los Angeles

News   Dirty Dancing Will Be Part of Pantages Season in Los Angeles Dirty Dancing — The Classic Story on Stage, already a hit in London, Toronto and Europe, will make its West Coast premiere at The Pantages Theatre in Los Angeles in spring 2009.
Georgina Rich and Josef Brown in the London production of Dirty Dancing
Georgina Rich and Josef Brown in the London production of Dirty Dancing Photo by David Sheinmann

The run will follow its fall 2008 American premiere in Chicago. Specific L.A. dates have not been announced.

The dance-heavy musical is based on the film penned and co-produced by Eleanor Bergstein, who adapted and expanded the tale for the stage. Baby boomers who loved the picture (and its Academy Award-winning song, "I've Had the Time of My Life") when they were in high school are now taking their kids to the stage show — and singing along to the famous score.

The L.A. run starting in May 2009 is part of the U.S. national tour, which launches in Chicago this fall.

Ticketing information for The Pantages Theatre engagement — part of the Broadway/L.A. season there — will be announced at a later date.

Among titles in the 2008-09 Pantages season are Rain, Mamma Mia!, Grease, Legally Blonde, How the Grinch Stole Christmas, The Phantom of the Opera, Rent starring Adam Pascal and Anthony Rapp and Fiddler on the Roof starring Topol. For Broadway/L.A. season subscription series information, go to www.BroadwayLA.org.

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In Dirty Dancing, "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," according to production notes. "On holiday in New York's Catskill Mountains 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 when an all-night dance party is in full swing. Mesmerized by the raunchy dance moves and the pounding rhythms, 'Baby' can't 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 original story of "Dirty Dancing" has been expanded for the stage. According to the producers, "While keeping all the magical moments from the film, in the theatre, Baby and Johnny's relationship is developed further so there are more Baby and Johnny scenes; there is more new music that Eleanor Bergstein always wanted for the film such as 'Save The Last Dance,' 'This Magic Moment' and 'Stubborn Kind of Fellow'…"

Dirty Dancing — The Classic Story On Stage is produced by Jacobsen Entertainment, in association with Lionsgate and Magic Hour Productions, and written by Eleanor Bergstein.

Bergstein stated, "We didn't…want just to slap the film on stage. Rather, we needed to find a way to preserve the iconic moments while transforming them into a new kind of theatrical event. We made some important structural shifts, while incorporating a kind of playful running dialogue between the theatrical and movie mediums. We were able to add more story, more Baby and Johnny scenes, more about the family, more songs, and, most of all — the unparalleled excitement of live dancing."

The production is directed by James Powell and choreographed by Kate Champion.

For more information, visit www.DirtyDancingOnStage.com.

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