The stage adaptation of this classic 1980’s romantic dance movie returned to the Regent Theatre this week
The curtain was raised with a performance of Be My Baby that hushed the excited audience and we were swept off to a 1960’s holiday resort.
As the story unfolded, we were reacquainted with the lead characters that we remember fondly from the original film. Frances ‘Baby’ Houseman (Kira Malou) the daughter and sister of a well-to-do family and street-smart dance performer/instructor Johnny Castle (Michael O’Reilly). Baby wants to change the world whereas Johnny is just trying to survive season to season, despite these differences events conspire to push them together. Kira and Michael’s performance on stage was smouldering, and they played Baby and Johnny perfectly
The coming-of-age story tackles topics such as class bias, loyalty as well as doing the right thing no matter what the consequences are.
A stand out performance was that of Johnny’s dance partner, Penny, played by Simone Covele. her performance brought rapturous applause and appreciation from the audience, and rightly so! Simone looked fabulous on stage, and she left the audience gasping in amazement at times with her dance moves
O’Reilly’s performance as Johnny was met with the high approval of the audience especially when they got a look at him in various states of undress. When he and Baby are rehearsing for their performance at the Sheldrake Hotel, you could feel the chemistry between the pair.
We were intrigued to know how they’d re-create the lake scene for practicing “that lift”, just to say they got creative in setting the stage for that part!
Malou played her part as Baby brilliantly! Her ability to look like she couldn’t dance while being taught by Johnny was believable until her breathtaking performance at the end where she got the chance to show the audience what she was really capable of doing!
It’s hard not to compare the performance to the much-loved film but on no level did this performance dissapoint, we enjoyed every moment, and by the appreciative sounds, whistles and whoops from the packed out audience so did they.
When it was time for Johnny deliver the famous “Nobody puts Baby in a corner” quote (while storming through the theatre), the audience erupted with excitement knowing what was around the corner! The final dance was everything that everyone in the audience had been wanting and waiting for!
O’Reilly and Malou’s performance was fabulous, and the lift we had all been waiting for was effortless and equally breathtaking. If you are a fan of the movie then this performance will not disappoint.