Review: Dirty Dancing at Lyceum, Sheffield

Dirty Dancing
Dirty Dancing

It’s the summer of 1963. Before Kennedy was assassinated, almost before the Beatles.

Dansette record players were state of the art, and Frank Ifield and the Crystals were in the top ten.

And in the movie of Dirty Dancing the Houseman family went on vacation to Kellermans.

The movie is now a stage musical, playing to enthusiastic packed houses at Sheffield’s Lyceum.

The songs which form the soundtrack to the story are familiar to anyone who was around in the ’60s: Be My Baby, Hey Baby, Save the Last Dance for Me, Wipeout, and of course there’s We Shall Overcome, anthem of that decade of change and part of the story’s darker thread, to do with civil rights and equality.

But Dirty Dancing is mainly about dancing, and the Romeo and Juliet story of two young people from widely different backgrounds.

The dancing is spectacular, especially from Claire Rogers in the iconic role of Penny Johnson, and Lewis Kirk, deputizing for the injured Gareth Bailey as Johnny, the boy from the wrong side of the tracks.

Roseanna Frascona is ‘Baby’ Houseman, the girl who arrives a naïve teenager and leaves a wiser young woman, and is a hoofer worth watching as well as an accomplished actress.

If you enjoyed the movie, you’ll love the musical. It runs unitl Saturday, May 3.