the Tour Stops in Tampa and Jacksonville
Starting December 2
Tickets for the Tampa premiere of Dirty Dancing – The Classic Story On Stage are now on sale. The staged musical of this worldwide smash-hit film will play the Straz Center for the Performing Arts’ Morsani Hall from December 2-7 as part of the Bank of America Best of Broadway Tampa Bay series. Afterwards, the production goes to Jacksonville, where it will be presented at the Moran Theater from December 9-14 as part of the Broadway in Jacksonville series sponsored by Chase.
“As I learned how many people watched the movie over and over and over,” said Eleanor Bergstein, screenwriter of the film Dirty Dancing and book writer for the musical, “I began to think that what they really wanted was to share more intensely in the event, to step through the screen and be there while the story was happening…Writing it for the stage, I was also able to add more Baby and Johnny scenes, more about the family, more songs I couldn’t afford last time, and, most exciting of all – more dancing.”
Dirty Dancing – The Classic Story On Stage is an unprecedented live experience, exploding with heart-pounding music, passionate romance and sensational dancing. Seen by millions across the globe, this timeless love story features the hit songs “Hungry Eyes,” “Hey Baby,” “Do You Love Me?” and the heart-stopping “(I’ve Had) The Time Of My Life.”
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 in to the deep end as Johnny’s leading lady, both on-stage and off.
Dirty Dancing – The Classic Story On Stage’s Tampa performances are Tuesday – Thursday at 7:30 p.m., Friday at 8 p.m., Saturday at 2 and 8 p.m. and Sunday at 2 and 7:30 p.m. Jacksonville performances are Tuesday – Thursday at 7:30 p.m., Friday at 8 p.m., Saturday at 2 and 8 p.m. and Sunday at 1:30 and 7 p.m. Regularly priced tickets are $56-$82 (Tampa) and $37.50-$82.50 (Jacksonville) and may be purchased by calling (813) 229-STAR (7827) or (904) 442-2929, in person at the Straz Center and Moran Theater ticket offices, or online at strazcenter.org or artistseriesjax.org.
Hotspots’ Exclusive Interview with Dirty Dancing Cast Member Josh Drake
Hailing from the small town of Hickory, North Carolina, 22-year-old Josh Drake is celebrating a milestone in his career this year. As a cast member and dance captain for Dirty Dancing – The Classic Story on Stage, he is embarking on his first-ever national touring production. A graduate of the American Musical and Dramatic Academy in New York City, his past theatre credits include Dreamgirls, Chicago: The Musical and Les Misérables.
I spoke with Josh the night before Dirty Dancing pulled into Houston, just two stops before the show and its cast makes their Florida debut.
At what age did you start dancing?
My mother enrolled me in tap dancing classes when I was 3. I quit for a few years and started up again when I was 9 and I’ve been dancing ever since.
What do you like the most about touring in a national theater production?
The crowds go wild with this show. Everyone has great memories of Dirty Dancing and you can see and feel the energy in the audience. I also like being able to see different cities across the country. I worked on a cruise ship which sailed to the Bahamas out of the port of Fort Lauderdale, so I’ve been to places in the Caribbean, but not so many places in the U.S. I’m having a lot of fun.
How many hours of practice go into choreographing the numbers that we’ll see in Dirty Dancing?
We had four weeks of rehearsal in New York before we officially started the tour. We practiced about eight hours a day, six days a week. The choreographer for the tour had choreographed the show in other countries and it took him a while to make the routines flow in our bodies. What might work with one set of bodies might look different on others and he wanted us to look good. A lot of us had never done ballroom dancing before, so we had to start with learning the basics and then building our skills from there.
What is your favorite part of the musical and why?
My favorite dance number is “Do You Love Me?” which is a pretty memorable song from the movie. Everyone strips away the tuxes, the ties, the dresses, all the “stuck-up clothing,” and everyone gets to do the “dirty dancing” for the first time in the show. It kind of hits us really quickly and we get to really be free on-stage.
For more information on Dirty Dancing – The Classic Story on Stage, please visit us.dirtydancingontour.com.