Theater Review: ‘Dirty Dancing’ Is One Of The Best Productions From Dallas Summer Musicals

Review by Monique Thompson

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 into the deep end as Johnny’s leading lady, both on-stage and off.

The classic love story of Dirty Dancing is brought to life in this musical adaptation presented by Dallas Summer Musicals. If you’re not familiar with or have never saw the film, this live version has you covered. Exactly like the film, from soundtrack down to the scenes, Baby (Gillian Abbott) and Johnny’s (Samuel Pergande) on-stage romance is steamy hot! The super spicy and sultry dancing will definitely make you want to head on down to your nearest dance club and sport your moves with your partner.

After seeing several shows at Music Hall Fair Park, Dirty Dancing has to have one of the best stage setups and use of props. From a rotating platform, to an oversized screen to make the illusion of the characters swimming, the crew did an amazing job at transitioning a classic film into a theatrical production, without losing too many elements.

Although this is considering a musical, there really isn’t much singing until Act 2, which is actually a good thing. The sizzling dance numbers are all that’s needed though, as the dancers dance to the sounds of the ensemble situated above the stage floor. The lead vocalist Jennlee Shallow belts out many of the lyrics to hits like the heart-stopping (I’ve Had) The Time of My Life in the shows final scene/number, alongside Doug Carpenter. The duo does an excellent cover of the hit song and ends the production with a barrage of applauds.

A definite treat, Dirty Dancing, is by far one of the best productions by Dallas Summer Musicals. Running at Fort Worth’s Bass Performance Hall – July 7th through July 12th.

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