I really love this movie so had high hopes for the stage show but alas I was left disappointed. The theatre was sold out and about 90% women. I found the script stuck too closely to the movie in parts and where it did deviate, it just didn’t gel together as a stage production. The dancing was excellent and the actress who played Penny was perfectly cast with her legs definitely having a starring role. Unfortunately the leads both Johnny and Baby were a bit disappointing – Baby’s accent was very irritating and Johnny lacked Swayze’s swagger. For me, it just didn’t work on stage but the songs as always are excellent so it was hard not to get caught up in the atmosphere and the cheesiest of it all and the audience seemed to love it. The first half rolled along at a high pace with most of the movie happening and I found it all a little too fast especially some key scenes where they should have spent a little longer building atmosphere – the “I carried a watermelon” and the tree log scene. Another disappointing thing was the scenery and stage settings specifically the scene where they were trying the lifts in the field and the water which came across as amateurish and laughable! There was so much in the first half that I was left wondering what would they fill the second half with. I also found the political stance they took in the stage play didn’t fit in and the new songs they added were weak. The actress who played Lisa was excellent and did the hula song with gusto. The best bit was the ending which of course they did to perfection – Johnny entered the stage to whoops and hollers and delivered the infamous line “nobody puts baby in a corner” and they do the dance with the lift and everyone was on their feet. Maybe I was expecting too much but overall I was left disappointed but it did make me want to watch the movie again so it wasn’t all bad!

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