Dirty Dancing Will Launch U.S. National Tour in September 2008

By Andrew Gans
14 Aug 2007

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

Dirty Dancing - The Classic Story On Stage, the musical based on the Hollywood film that starred Patrick Swayze, will make its U.S. debut in September at Chicago's Cadillac Palace Theatre.

Performances will begin Sept. 2, 2008, as part of the Broadway in Chicago Season series. Casting, additional tour dates and ticket information for the musical's national tour will be announced shortly.

Dirty Dancing premiered in Australia and New Zealand and continues to play to sold-out houses in London's West End and in Hamburg, Germany. The dance-heavy stage musical is also scheduled to begin performances Oct. 31 at the Royal Alexandra Theatre in Toronto.

James Powell, who helmed the London production, will direct the U.S. tour as well. The remainder of the London creative team will also re-create their work: Kate Champion (choreography), Stephen Brimson Lewis (set design), Jennifer Irwin (costume design), Tim Mitchell (lighting design), Bobby Aitken (sound design), Jon Driscoll (video and projection design), Craig Wilson (Latin and Ballroom dance choreographer) and Conrad Helfrich (musical supervisor).

Dirty Dancing, according to press notes, "is a coming of age love story involving the talented and headstrong dancer Johnny Castle and Frances 'Baby' Houseman. During her family's summer vacation at the popular Kellerman's resort, Baby, a doctor's daughter with dreams of joining the Peace Corps, meets Johnny, the guy from the wrong side of the tracks. Against all odds, they fall in love, learning life-changing lessons along the way. [The musical] follows the highs and lows of their summer romance." Song titles include "(I've Had) The Time of My Life," "Hungry Eyes," "Hey Baby" and "Do You Love Me?"



Eleanor Bergstein, who penned the film and the musical, said in a statement, "I originally wrote the movie because I love to dance. Since the movie opened, the openhearted audience response has made me believe that everyone has a secret dancer inside them; one they feel could connect them to the physical world in the way they dream. As I learned how many people watched the movie over and over and over, I began to think that what they really wanted was to share more intensely in the event, to step through the screen, and be there while the story was happening. And if that was true, then its natural form was live theatre - audiences watching live bodies dancing here and now in the present - on the log, on the bridge, on the dance floor, and in the staff quarters at Kellerman's. Writing it for the stage, I was also able to add more Baby and Johnny scenes, more about the family, more songs I couldn't afford last time, and, most exciting of all - more dancing."

Jacobsen Entertainment, in association with Lionsgate and Magic Hour Productions, will produce the U.S. tour.

Chicago's Cadillac Palace Theatre is located at 151 W. Randolph Street in Chicago, IL.

For more information visit www.DirtyDancingOnStage.com.