Abigail Breslin to star in Dirty Dancing TV remake

9 Dec 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

Dirty Dancing TV remake confirmed.

Oscar nominee Abigail Breslin has been cast in the lead as Baby, the part famously played by Jennifer Grey in 1987, for a three-hour adaptation on US television network ABC.

Other roles are yet to be announced, as is an air date, but the decision to bring Kellerman’s back to life has stirred mixed, but generally distressed, reactions among fans. Dirty Dancing tells the story of a young woman who falls in love with resort dance instructor Johnny (an unforgettable Patrick Swayze) while holidaying with her family in the Catskill Mountains in 1963. One possible saving grace is that screenwriter Eleanor Bergstein, who penned it, is returning as executive producer, so clearly she thinks this risky idea could pay off. Because while I’ve just seen the touring show Tuesday night at the Music Hall, I’m a rare breed among Generation Xers: I’ve never seen even 30 seconds of “Dirty Dancing.” In fact, before tonight, I didn’t have even the faintest clue what it was about. Bergstein also led the charge on hit musical Dirty Dancing: The Classic Story on Stage in 2004, the same year that saw the release of dodgy prequel movie, Dirty Dancing: Havana Nights, starring Romola Garai.

The young, astoundingly attractive non-Equity dance chorus displays energy and precision that impress throughout. “Jukebox” or “trunk song” musicals, where the lyrics don’t really relate to the plot, have been with us forever. Audiences in 1902 were treated to a stage adaptation of “The Wizard of Oz” that included song titles such as “Hurrah for Baffin’s Bay.” But in today’s post-Rodgers and Hammerstein world, musicals cobbled together with ill-fitting hits from artists such as Queen and Billy Joel are a big step back.

The program lists an astounding 45 numbers, many of them doo-wop and ‘60s classics such as “This Magic Moment” and “In the Still of the Night.” The crackerjack onstage band plays much of the music as underscoring, though the sound mix made the actors’ voices hard to hear several times Tuesday night. The striking physical production uses a series of strategic platforms, louvered panels, LED screens and projections on scrims to create a wide variety of looks with minimal stagecraft. Several fellow audience members around me bemoaned its lack of literalness and practical set pieces, and it is obvious the show was designed with economy in mind. And while the famous line, “Nobody puts Baby in a corner,” drew hoots of glee from a large number of movie fans in the audience, its staging here is physically awkward and puzzlingly timed.

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