Dirty Dancing remake ordered starring Abigail Breslin

9 Dec 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

Abigail Breslin to star in ‘Dirty Dancing’ remake.

ABC bosses have given the green light to a three-hour TV movie version of the movie, according to The Hollywood Reporter, and the former child star will lead the cast. The 19-year-old actress, who is currently part of the ensemble cast of TV hit “Scream Queens,” will take on the character made famous by Jennifer Grey in the original 1987 film, while her leading man, portrayed by the late Patrick Swayze, is yet to be announced. Emmy Award nominee Jessica Sharzer, who has worked on hit TV shows American Horror Story and The L Word, is penning the script, while Eleanor Bergstein, who wrote the screenplay for the original movie, will produce. The original film’s award-winning soundtrack is also getting a revamp with Grammy nominee Adam Anders and Glee’s Peer Astrom tackling the songs, while Gosford Park’s Stephen Altman will take charge of set design.

Rumors suggesting the “Dirty Dancing” remake will be an all-live TV event, like last week’s “The Wiz,” last year’s “Peter Pan” and next month’s “Grease: Live” have been shot down. 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. Set in the pre-Beatles summer of 1963, the show tells the story of Frances “Baby” Houseman, who is summer vacationing with her wealthy family at a resort. 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. But he’s perfectly cast in the role, and inhabits it with a muscular physicality that makes it obvious why teenage Baby throws caution to the wind for the much-older man.

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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