Hopkins, Epstein, Bolger Join Cast of Dirty Dancing's U.S. Tour

News   Hopkins, Epstein, Bolger Join Cast of Dirty Dancing's U.S. Tour
Complete casting has been announced for the pre-Broadway U.S. premiere of Dirty Dancing – The Classic Story On Stage, the London and Toronto hit, which begins Sept. 28 at Chicago's Cadillac Palace Theatre.
Kaitlin Hopkins
Kaitlin Hopkins Photo by Aubrey Reuben

As previously announced Amanda Leigh Cobb will play Frances "Baby" Houseman and Josef Brown will re-create the role of Johnny Castle, Baby's headstrong love interest. They bond one summer at a Catskills resort. Brown previously played Johnny in London and Australian productions of Dirty Dancing. No Broadway dates have been announced for the show.

Chicago's Britta Lazenga, of the Joffrey Ballet and the Toronto run of Dirty Dancing, will play Penny Johnson, as previously announced.

They are joined by Ben Mingay as Billy; John Bolger as Baby's father Dr. Jake Houseman; Kaitlin Hopkins (bare, Bat Boy) as her mother Marjorie; and Katlyn Carlson as Baby's sister Lisa.

Rounding out the cast of 39 are Molly C. Callinan as Vivian; Joseph Costa as Mr. Schumacher; Jonathan Epstein as Max Kellerman, namesake of the resort at which the iconic story is set; Ryan Farrell as Robbie; Michael Howell as Tito Suarez; Lauren Klein as Mrs. Schumacher; Michael Lluberes as Stan; Gary Lynch as Moe Pressman; and Michael Zahler as Neil Kellerman. The ensemble includes John Antony, Timothy Bish, Thea Brooks, Karen Burthwright, Theresa Coombe, E. Clayton Cornelious, Jean Michel Erole, Ashley Blair Fitzgerald, Hayley Henderson-Smith, Darina Jeleva, Travis Kelley, Charlie Logan, Lauralyn McClelland, Erich McMillan-McCall, Samuel Pergande, Andrew Pirozzi, Sarah Skogland, W. Easton Smith, Billy Harrigan Tighe, Aspen Vincent, Tony Vincent, Emily J. Williams, and Candice Woods.

This first engagement of the national tour of Dirty Dancing – The Classic Story On Stage will play the Cadillac Palace Theatre (151 W. Randolph St.) for a limited run to Dec. 7. The famous film of the same name has been reimagined for the stage by the original screenwriter Eleanor Bergstein. The music and dance-driven Dirty Dancing – The Classic Story on Stage is directed by James Powell, with choreography by Kate Champion. The team also includes: Stephen Brimson Lewis (set design), Conrad Helfrich (music supervisor), Tim Mitchell (lighting design), Bobby Aitken (sound design), Jon Driscoll (video and projection design), Jennifer Irwin (costume design) and Craig Wilson (Latin and Ballroom dance choreographer).

Producer Jacobsen Entertainment, in association with Lionsgate and Magic Hour Productions, characterize the show this way: "The movie Dirty Dancing is a legendary entertainment phenomenon. The soundtrack continues to sell millions of copies. And now live audiences can experience it as never before. Dirty Dancing – The Classic Story On Stage, combines all the intensity and excitement of live theatre with new songs, new scenes, and thrilling new dances. Dirty Dancing – The Classic Story On Stage is an unprecedented live experience for lifelong fans of the film and new audiences alike that explodes with heart-pounding music, breathtaking emotion and sensationally sexy dancing."

The story focuses on Baby and Johnny, "two fiercely independent young spirits from different worlds who come together in what will be the most challenging and triumphant summer of their lives."

The show — part play, part dance event, part concert — features 35 hit songs, including "Hungry Eyes," "Hey Baby," "Do You Love Me?" and the Academy Award-winning "(I've Had) The Time of My Life."

Individual tickets ranging in price from $35-$95 are currently on sale. A limited number of premium tickets are available to all performances and range in price from $125-$150. For ticket information, call (312) 902-1400, visit Ticketmaster.com.

For more information on Dirty Dancing – The Classic Story On Stage, go to www.dirtydancingamerica.com or www.BroadwayInChicago.com.

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