PHOTO CALL: A First Look at Dirty Dancing On Tour, Starring Samuel Pergande and Jillian Mueller

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02 Sep 2014

The North American tour of Dirty Dancing – The Classic Story On Stage, starring Samuel Pergande and Jillian Mueller as Johnny Castle and Frances "Baby" Houseman, respectively, opens Sept. 2 at The National Theatre in Washington D.C.

Pergande and Mueller lead a company of 26 that also includes Doug Carpenter (Billy Kostecki, Singer), Jerome Harmann-Hardeman (Tito Suarez), Caralyn Kozlowski (Marjorie Houseman), Jesse Liebman (Neil Kellerman), Gary Lynch (Max Kellerman), Herman Petras (Mr. Schumacher), Emily Rice (Lisa Houseman), Mark Elliot Wilson (Dr. Jake Houseman) and Jenny Winton (Penny Johnson).



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Samuel Pergande, Jillian Mueller and Jenny Winton
Photo by Matthew Murphy



The ensemble comprises John Antony, Rachel Boone, Amanda Brantley, Jon Drake, Josh Drake, Sam Edgerly, Rashaan James, II, Joshua Keith, Alexandra Matteo, Kevin Munhall, Phoebe Pearl, Virginia Preston, Michael Thomas Pugliese, Jennlee Shallow and Nicole Spencer.

Performances began Aug. 26.



"The company that we have assembled for our North American tour is beautiful and truthful," said Eleanor Bergstein, screenwriter of the film "Dirty Dancing" and book writer for the musical, in an earlier statement. "I originally wrote the movie because I love to dance. And since the movie first appeared, 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. This remarkable cast brings those dreams to life through their extraordinary talent and exceptional skill and it's a thrill for us to have this group of people bring Dirty Dancing home to North America."

Featuring a book by Bergstein, the Equity tour is directed by James Powell with choreography by Michele Lynch based on the original choreography by Kate Champion.

Dirty Dancing – The Classic Story On Stage features the songs "Hungry Eyes," "Hey Baby," "Do You Love Me?" and "(I've Had) The Time Of My Life," among others.

The property was previously seen in a limited 2008 "pre-Broadway" tour. A Broadway run never materialized. 

Here's how it's billed: "It's the summer of 1963, and 17-year-old Frances 'Baby' Houseman is on vacation in New York’s Catskill Mountains with her older sister and parents. Mesmerized by the racy dance moves and pounding rhythms she discovers in the resort’s staff quarters, Baby can’t wait to be part of the scene, especially when she catches sight of Johnny Castle, the resort’s sexy dance instructor. Passions ignite and Baby’s life changes forever when she is thrown in to the deep end as Johnny’s leading lady, both on-stage and off."

The creative team also includes Stephen Brimson Lewis (set design), Tim Mitchell (lighting design), Jennifer Irwin (costume design), Bobby Aitken (sound design), Jon Driscoll (video and projection design), Bernie Ardia (hair design), Conrad Helfrich (music supervisor and orchestrations) and Alan Plado (music director).

Dirty Dancing – The Classic Story On Stage was first performed at the Theatre Royal in Sydney, Australia, in November 2004 before embarking on a tour of Australia and New Zealand. A new production opened at the Theater Neue Flora in Hamburg, Germany, in March 2006, where it broke records for achieving the highest advance in European history.

The production began performances in London's West End in October 2006. It closed in July 2011 in advance of a two-year U.K. national tour and returned to London for a strictly limited season at the Piccadilly Theatre. Dirty Dancing's Toronto production began performances Oct. 31, 2007, at the historic Royal Alexandra Theatre. 

The show has gone on to perform across the world in markets as diverse as Utrecht, Holland, Johannesburg and Cape Town, South Africa. It is currently represented by a new U.K. tour, which launched March 2014 in Bristol.

The North American tour of Dirty Dancing – The Classic Story On Stage is produced by Amber Jacobsen, NETworks Presentations LLC, Grove Entertainment and Col Joye in association with Lionsgate and Magic Hour Productions.

For more information, visit US.DirtyDancingOnTour.com.