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Dirty Dancing is a 1987 American romantic drama dance film written by Eleanor Bergstein and directed by Emile Ardolino. It stars Jennifer Grey as Frances "Baby" Houseman, a young woman who falls in love with dance instructor Johnny Castle (Patrick Swayze) at her family's resort.
Theatrical release poster
|Directed by||Emile Ardolino|
|Produced by||Linda Gottlieb|
|Written by||Eleanor Bergstein|
|Edited by||Peter C. Frank|
Great American Films Limited Partnership
|Distributed by||Vestron Pictures|
|Box office||$214 million|
The film was based on screenwriter Eleanor Bergstein's own childhood. She originally wrote a screenplay for the Michael Douglas film It's My Turn, but ultimately ended up conceiving a story for a film which became Dirty Dancing. She finished the script in 1985, but management changes at MGM put the film in development hell. The production company was changed to Vestron Pictures with Emile Ardolino as director and Linda Gottlieb as producer. Filming took place in Lake Lure, North Carolina and Mountain Lake, Virginia, with the the film's score composed by John Morris and dance choreography by Kenny Ortega.
Dirty Dancing premiered at the 1987 Cannes Film Festival on May 12, 1987 and was released on August 21, 1987 in the United States, earning over $214 million worldwide. It was the first film to sell more than a million copies for home video, and its soundtrack created by Jimmy Ienner generating two multi-platinum albums and multiple singles, including "(I've Had) The Time of My Life", which won both the Golden Globe and Academy Award for Best Original Song, and a Grammy Award for best duet. The film's popularity led to a 2004 prequel, Dirty Dancing: Havana Nights, and a stage version which has had sellout performances in Australia, Europe, and North America. A made-for-TV remake was also released in 2017.
In the summer of 1963 17-year-old Frances "Baby" Houseman is vacationing with her affluent family at Kellerman's resort. Her father, Jake, is doctor and friend to Max Kellerman, the resort proprietor. Exploring one night, Baby surreptitiously observes Max instructing the waiters, all Ivy League students, to romance the guests' daughters no matter how unattractive. She also sees Max's condescending attitude to the working class entertainment staff including Johnny, the resort's dance instructor. Baby is attracted to Johnny, and dances briefly with him when his cousin Billy takes her to one of the staff's secret dirty dancing parties.
Baby discovers Johnny's dance partner, Penny, is pregnant by Robbie, the Houseman's waiter who attends Yale medical school and who flirts with Baby's older sister Lisa. When Robbie refuses to help Penny, Baby borrows money from her father to pay for Penny's illegal abortion without revealing what the money is for. At first Penny refuses an abortion as it would mean she and Johnny missing a performance at a neighboring resort, costing them the season's salary. Baby volunteers to stand in for Penny, and during her dance sessions with Johnny they develop a romantic attraction.
Johnny and Baby's performance is successful except for Baby's failure to execute the climactic lift. Back at Kellerman's Billy tells them Penny's abortion was successful but the doctor was a quack and Penny is in great pain. Baby enlists her doctor father's help and he stabilizes Penny, then refuses to shake Johnny's hand and orders his daughter never to see him again, believing Johnny to be responsible for Penny's pregnancy. Baby later apologizes to Johnny for her father's behavior and declares her feelings for him. They dance and spend the night together in his cabin where she loses her virginity to him.
The next morning Jake tells the family he wants to leave, claiming he wants to avoid traffic. Lisa and their mother convince him to stay. Baby and Johnny continue seeing each other despite Baby hiding their relationship from her father, which hurts Johnny. Johnny declines to have sex with a promiscuous married guest, Vivian Pressman, who instead has sex with Robbie, with whom Lisa wanted to lose her virginity. Vivian catches Baby leaving Johnny's cabin one morning and attempts to get revenge by claiming Johnny stole her husband's wallet. When Max prepares to fire Johnny Baby reveals their relationship to give Johnny an alibi. Johnny is cleared of the theft but instead fired for his relationship with Baby. Before leaving Kellerman's, Johnny attempts to apologize to Jake, but Jake accuses him of tossing Penny aside and moving on to his daughter. Baby apologizes for lying to her father, but not for her relationship with Johnny. She also berates him for claiming compassion for the less fortunate but an elitist attitude when it comes to himself and his own family.
At the end of season talent show Jake gives Robbie money for medical school, and Robbie accidentally admits it was he who he got Penny pregnant, not Johnny. Jake snatches the money back. Johnny interrupts the final song by bringing Baby up on stage and declaring that she has made him a better person. They dance a provocative version of the dance they'd practiced throughout the summer, ending with Baby successfully performing the climactic lift. Jake admits he was wrong about Johnny and he and Baby embrace. The staff and guests all join Baby and Johnny dancing to "(I've Had) The Time of My Life".
- Jennifer Grey as Frances "Baby" Houseman
- Patrick Swayze as Johnny Castle
- Cynthia Rhodes as Penny Johnson
- Jerry Orbach as Doctor Jake Houseman
- Jane Brucker as Lisa Houseman
- Jack Weston as Max Kellerman
- Lonny Price as Neil Kellerman
- Kelly Bishop as Marjorie Houseman
- Antone Pagán as The Staff Kid
- Max Cantor as Robbie Gould
- Charles Coles as Tito Suarez
- Neal Jones as Billy Kostecki
- Miranda Garrison as Vivian Pressman
- Garry Goodrow as Moe Pressman
- Wayne Knight as Stan
- Paula Trueman as Mrs. Schumacher
- Alvin Myerovich as Mr. Schumacher
- "Be My Baby" – The Ronettes
- "Big Girls Don't Cry" – Frankie Valli and The Four Seasons
- "Where Are You Tonight?" – Tom Johnston
- "Do You Love Me" – The Contours
- "Love Man" – Otis Redding
- "Stay" – Maurice Williams and the Zodiacs
- "Hungry Eyes" – Eric Carmen
- "Overload" – Zappacosta
- "Hey! Baby" – Bruce Channel
- "De Todo Un Poco" – Melon
- "Some Kind of Wonderful" – The Drifters
- "These Arms of Mine (Otis Redding song)" – Otis Redding
- "Cry to Me" – Solomon Burke
- "Will You Love Me Tomorrow" – The Shirelles
- "Love Is Strange" – Mickey & Sylvia
- "You Don't Own Me" – The Blow Monkeys
- "Yes" – Merry Clayton
- "In the Still of the Night" – The Five Satins
- "She's Like the Wind" – Patrick Swayze
- "(I've Had) The Time of My Life" – Bill Medley and Jennifer Warnes
Note: Actress Jane Brucker wrote the song "Hula Hana", which she performed in her role of Lisa in the show rehearsal scene.
Dirty Dancing is based in large part on screenwriter Eleanor Bergstein's own childhood: she is the younger daughter of a Jewish doctor from New York, spent summers with her family in the Catskills, participated in "Dirty Dancing" competitions, and was herself nicknamed "Baby" as a girl. In 1980, Bergstein wrote a screenplay for the Michael Douglas film, It's My Turn. However, the producers cut an erotic dancing scene from the script, much to her dismay. She then conceived a new story, focused almost exclusively on dancing. In 1984, she pitched the idea to MGM executive Eileen Miselle, who liked it and teamed Bergstein with producer Linda Gottlieb. They set the film in 1963, with the character of Baby based on Bergstein's own life, and the character of Johnny based on the stories of Michael Terrace, a dance instructor whom Bergstein met in the Catskills in 1985 while she was researching the story. She finished the script in November 1985, but management changes at MGM put the script into turnaround, or limbo.
Bergstein then shopped the script around to other studios but was repeatedly rejected, until she brought it to Vestron Pictures, the newly formed studio division of Stamford, Connecticut, based Vestron Inc., the leading independent home video distribution company. While honing their pitch to Vestron, Gottlieb and Bergstein chose Emile Ardolino as the film's director, who had won the 1983 Academy Award for the documentary, He Makes Me Feel Like Dancin'. Ardolino had never directed a feature film, but was extremely passionate about the project; he even sent a message from where he was sequestered on jury duty, insisting that he was the best choice as director. The team of Gottlieb, Bergstein, and Ardolino then presented their vision for the film to Vestron's president, Jon Peisinger, and the company's vice president for production, Mitchell Cannold. By the end of the meeting, Peisinger had greenlighted the project to become Vestron's first feature film production. The approved film was budgeted at the relatively low amount of $5 million, at a time when the average cost for a film was $12 million.
For choreographer, Bergstein chose Kenny Ortega, who had been trained by Gene Kelly. For a location, they did not find anything suitable in the Catskills (as many of the resorts had been shut down at that point), so they decided on a combination of two locations: Lake Lure, North Carolina and the Mountain Lake Hotel near Pembroke, Virginia, and with careful editing made it look like all shooting was done in the same area.
Director Ardolino was adamant that they choose dancers who could also act, as he did not want to use the "stand-in" method that had been used with Flashdance (1983). For the female lead of Frances "Baby" Houseman, Bergstein chose the 26-year-old Jennifer Grey, daughter of the Oscar-winning actor and dancer Joel Grey (e.g., of the film Cabaret (1972)), who, like her father, was a trained dancer. They then sought a male lead, initially considering 20-year-old Billy Zane, who had the visual look desired (originally the Johnny character was to be Italian and have a dark exotic look), but initial dancing tests when he was partnered with Grey did not meet expectations. The next choice was 34-year-old Patrick Swayze, who had been noticed for his roles in Grandview, U.S.A. (1984) and Red Dawn (1984). He was a seasoned dancer, with experience from the Joffrey Ballet. The producers were thrilled with him, but his agent was opposed to the idea. However, Swayze read the script, liked the multi-level character of Johnny, and took the part anyway, and Johnny was changed from being Italian to Irish. Grey was initially not happy about the choice, as she and Swayze had difficulty getting along on Red Dawn, but when they did their dancing screen test, the chemistry between them was obvious. Bergstein described it as "breathtaking".
Other casting choices were Broadway actor Jerry Orbach as Dr. Jake Houseman, Baby's father; and Jane Brucker as Lisa Houseman, her older sister. Bergstein also attempted to cast her friend, sex therapist Dr. Ruth Westheimer, to play Mrs. Schumacher, and Joel Grey as her husband. However, Westheimer backed out when she learned the role involved being a thief. The role went instead to 89-year-old Paula Trueman, and Joel Grey was not cast. Another role went to Bergstein's friend, New York radio personality "Cousin Brucie". She initially wanted him to portray the social director but then later asked him to play the part of the magician. The role of the social director went to the then unknown Wayne Knight (of later Seinfeld and 3rd Rock from the Sun fame). The part of Baby's mother was originally given to Lynne Lipton, who is briefly visible in the beginning, when the Houseman family first pulls into Kellerman's (she is in the front seat for a few seconds; her blonde hair is the only indication), but she became ill during the first week of shooting and was replaced by actress Kelly Bishop, who had already been cast to play Vivian Pressman, the highly sexed resort guest. Bishop moved into the role of Mrs. Houseman, and the film's assistant choreographer Miranda Garrison took on the role of Vivian.
Principal photography for Dirty Dancing took place in Lake Lure, North Carolina, and Mountain Lake, Virginia. Scenes in Lake Lure were filmed at the old Boys Camp, which is now a private, residential community known as Firefly Cove. These scenes included the interior dancing scenes, Baby carrying the watermelon and practicing on the signature stairs, Johnny's cabin, the staff cabins, the golf scene where Baby asks her father for $250, the "log" scene and the famous "water lift" scene. Scenes filmed at Mountain Lake included dining scenes, Kellerman's Hotel, the beach games, Penny crying in the kitchen, and the Houseman family's cabins.
The tight schedule allowed only two weeks for rehearsal and 44 days for filming, as it was already the tail end of summer. The cast stayed in the same hotel at Mountain Lake Lodge in Pembroke, Virginia and at the 1927 Lake Lure Inn & Spa in Lake Lure, N.C. Rehearsals quickly turned into disco parties involving nearly every cast member, even non-dancers such as Jack Weston.
The dancing and drinking went on almost non-stop and, immersed in the environment, the lead actors, Grey and Swayze, began identifying with their characters. Bergstein built upon this, encouraging the actors to improvise in their scenes. She also built the sexual tension by saying that no matter how intimate or "grinding" the dance steps, that none of the dancers were to have any other kind of physical contact with each other for the next six months.
Filming started on September 5, 1986 but was plagued by the weather, which ranged from pouring rain to sweltering heat. The outside temperature rose to 105 °F (41 °C), and with all the additional camera and lighting equipment needed for filming, the temperature inside could be as high as 120 °F (49 °C). According to choreographer Kenny Ortega, on one day 10 people passed out within 25 minutes of shooting. The elderly Paula Trueman collapsed and was taken to the local emergency room to be treated for dehydration. Patrick Swayze also required a hospital visit; insisting on doing his own stunts, he repeatedly fell off the log during the "balancing" scene and injured his knee so badly he had to have fluid drained from the swelling.
Delays in the shooting schedule pushed filming into the autumn, which required the set decorators to spray-paint the autumn leaves green. The uncooperative weather then took a different turn, plunging from oppressive heat to down near 40 °F (4 °C), causing frigid conditions for the famous swimming scene in October. The crew wore warm coats, gloves, and boots. Swayze and Grey stripped down to light summer clothing, to repeatedly dive into the cold water. Despite her character's enjoyment, Grey later described the water as "horrifically" cold, and she might not have gone into the lake, except that she was "young and hungry".
Relations between the two main stars varied throughout production. They had already had trouble getting along in their previous project, Red Dawn (1984), and worked things out enough to have an extremely positive screen test, but that initial cooperation soon faded, and they were soon "facing off" before every scene. There was concern among the production staff that the animosity between the two stars would endanger the filming of the love scenes. To address this, producer Bergstein and director Ardolino forced the stars to re-watch their initial screen-tests—the ones with the "breathtaking" chemistry. This had the desired effect, and Swayze and Grey were able to return to the film with renewed energy and enthusiasm.
Director Ardolino encouraged the actors to improvise and often kept the cameras rolling, even if actors went "off script". One example of this was the scene where Grey was to stand in front of Swayze with her back to him and put her arm up behind his head while he trailed his fingers down her arm (similar to the pose seen in the movie poster). Though it was written as a serious and tender moment, Grey was exhausted, found the move ticklish, and could not stop giggling each time Swayze tried it, no matter how many takes Ardolino asked for. Swayze was impatient to finish the scene and found Grey's behavior annoying. However, the producers decided the scene worked as it was and put it into the film, complete with Grey's giggling and Swayze's annoyed expression. It became one of the most famous scenes in the movie, turning out, as choreographer Kenny Ortega put it, "as one of the most delicate and honest moments in the film."
The shooting wrapped on October 27, 1986, both on-time and on-budget. No one on the team, however, liked the rough cut that was put together, and Vestron executives were convinced the film was going to be a flop. Thirty-nine percent of people who viewed the film did not realize abortion was the subplot. In May 1987, the film was screened for producer Aaron Russo. According to Vestron executive Mitchell Cannold, Russo's reaction at the end was to say simply, "Burn the negative, and collect the insurance."
Further disputes arose over whether a corporate sponsor could be found to promote the film. Marketers of the Clearasil acne product liked the film, seeing it as a vehicle to reach a teen target audience. However, when they learned the film contained an abortion scene, they asked for that part of the plot to be cut. As Bergstein refused, the Clearasil promotion was dropped. Consequently, Vestron promoted the film themselves and set the premiere on August 16, 1987. The Vestron executives had planned to release the film in theaters for a weekend, and then send it to home video, since Vestron had been in the video distribution business before film production. Considering how many people disliked the film at that point, producer Gottlieb's recollection of her feelings at the time was, "I would have only been grateful, if when it was released, people didn't yell at me."
Review aggregator Rotten Tomatoes gives the film a rating of 72% based on reviews from 61 critics and a rating average of 6.1/10. The site's critical consensus reads, "Like its winsome characters, Dirty Dancing uses impressive choreography and the power of song to surmount a series of formidable obstacles." Metacritic, another review aggregator, assigned the film a weighted average score of 65 out of 100, based on 20 critics, indicating "generally favorable reviews". Audiences polled by CinemaScore gave the film an average grade of "A–" on an A+ to F scale.
For the film's opening, The New York Times published a review titled "Dirty Dancing Rocks to an Innocent Beat". The Times reviewer called the film "a metaphor for America in the summer of 1963 – orderly, prosperous, bursting with good intentions, a sort of Yiddish-inflected Camelot." Other reviews were more mixed: Gene Siskel gave the film a "marginal Thumbs Up" as he liked Jennifer Grey's acting and development of her character, while Roger Ebert gave it "Thumbs Down" due to its "idiot plot", calling it a "tired and relentlessly predictable story of love between kids from different backgrounds." TIME magazine was lukewarm, saying, "If the ending of Eleanor Bergstein's script is too neat and inspirational, the rough energy of the film's song and dance does carry one along, past the whispered doubts of better judgment." In a retrospective review, Jezebel's Irin Carmon called the film "the greatest movie of all time" as "a great, brave movie for women" with "some subtle, retrospectively sharp-eyed critiques of class and gender."
Abortion rights advocates have called the film the "gold standard" for cinematic portrayals of abortion, which author Yannis Tzioumakis described as offering a "compassionate depiction of abortion in which the woman seeking an abortion was not demonized with the primary concerns being her health and preserving her capacity to bear children at a future time rather than the ethical dilemma that might or might not inform her decision, a portrayal that is not necessarily available in current films."
The film drew adult audiences instead of the expected teens, with viewers rating the film highly. Many filmgoers, after seeing the film once, went right back into the theater to watch it a second time. Word-of-mouth promotion took the film to the number one position in the United States, and in 10 days it had broken the $10 million mark. By November, it was also achieving international fame. Within seven months of release, it had brought in $63 million in the US and boosted attendance in dance classes across America. It was one of the highest-grossing films of 1987, earning $170 million worldwide.
The film's popularity continued to grow after its initial release. It was the number one video rental of 1988 and became the first film to sell a million copies on video. When the film was re-released in 1997, ten years after its original release, Swayze received his own star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, and videos were still selling at the rate of over 40,000 per month. As of 2005[update], it was selling a million DVDs per year, with over ten million copies sold as of 2007[update].
A May 2007 survey by Britain's Sky Movies listed Dirty Dancing as number one on "Women's most-watched films", above the Star Wars trilogy, Grease, The Sound of Music, and Pretty Woman. The film's popularity has also caused it to be called "the Star Wars for girls." An April 2008 article in Britain's Daily Mail listed Dirty Dancing as number one on a list of "most romantic movie quotes ever", for Baby's line: "I'm scared of walking out of this room and never feeling the rest of my whole life the way I feel when I'm with you."
Awards and honorsEdit
The film is recognized by American Film Institute in these lists:
- 2002: AFI's 100 Years...100 Passions – #93
- 2004: AFI's 100 Years...100 Songs:
- 2005: AFI's 100 Years...100 Movie Quotes:
- Johnny Castle: "Nobody puts Baby in a corner." – #98
- 2006: AFI's 100 Years...100 Cheers – Nominated
Rehearsals for the dancing, and some filming, used music from Bergstein's personal collection of gramophone records. When it came time to select actual music for the film, Vestron chose Jimmy Ienner as music supervisor. Ienner, who had previously produced albums and songs for John Lennon and Three Dog Night, opted to stick with much of the music that had already been used during filming and obtained licenses for the songs from Bergstein's collection. He also enlisted Swayze to sing the new song "She's Like the Wind". Swayze had written the song a few years earlier with Stacy Widelitz, originally intending for it to be used in the film Grandview, U.S.A. (1984).
John Morris composed the film's score. The lyrics for the Kellermans' song that closes the talent show were written specifically for the film and were sung to the tune of "Annie Lisle", a commonly used theme for school alma maters. Kenny Ortega and his assistant Miranda Garrison chose the song for the finale by going through an entire box of tapes, listening to each one. According to Ortega, literally the last tape they listened to had "The Time of My Life", which they saw as the obvious choice. Ienner then insisted that Bill Medley and Jennifer Warnes record it. The song won the 1988 Grammy Award for Best Pop Performance by a Duo or Group, an Academy Award for Best Original Song, and the Golden Globe Award for Best Original Song.
The film's soundtrack started an oldies music revival, and demand for the album caught RCA Records by surprise. According to Franke Previte, before a single had even been released, there were a million albums on back-order. The Dirty Dancing album spent 18 weeks at number one on the Billboard 200 album sales charts and went platinum eleven times, selling more than 32 million copies worldwide. It spawned a follow-up multi-platinum album in February 1988, entitled More Dirty Dancing.
Songs from the album which appeared on the charts included:
- "(I've Had) The Time of My Life", performed by Bill Medley and Jennifer Warnes, composed by Franke Previte, John deNicola, and Donald Markowitz – this song rose to #1 on the pop charts.
- "She's Like the Wind", performed by lead actor Patrick Swayze, composed by Lee and Stacy Widelitz; this song peaked at #3 in 1988.
- "Hungry Eyes", performed by Eric Carmen, composed by Franke Previte and John deNicola; this song peaked at #4 in 1988.
- "Yes", performed by Merry Clayton, composed by Neal Cavanaugh, Terry Fryer and Tom Graf; this song peaked #45 in 1988.
Additionally, the resurgence in popularity of the oldies contained in the movie led to a re-release of The Contours' single "Do You Love Me". "Do You Love Me" was featured in the movie but was omitted from the original soundtrack; it was included on More Dirty Dancing. Upon being re-released, "Do You Love Me" became a surprise hit all over again, this time peaking at #11 (it originally hit #3 back in 1962).
As for the studio, despite the film's huge monetary success, Vestron followed it up with a series of flops and ran out of money. Vestron's parent company, Vestron Inc., went bankrupt in 1989, and was bought out in January 1991 by LIVE Entertainment for $26 million. The rights to Dirty Dancing now rest with Lionsgate Entertainment, which purchased Artisan Entertainment in 2003.
Orbach, already known as a successful Broadway actor, continued in different genres. He was the voice of the candelabrum "Lumiere" in the Disney animated film Beauty and the Beast (1991), before taking on his best known role, detective Lennie Briscoe in the TV crime drama Law & Order, which he played from 1992 until his death in 2004.
Choreographer Ortega went on to choreograph and direct other major pictures such as Newsies (1992) and starting in 2006, the High School Musical series. He also became a director of film and television, including several episodes of Gilmore Girls, in which Dirty Dancing's Kelly Bishop had a starring role.
Lake Lure celebrated its Dirty Dancing legacy in the 1980s with the Dirty Dancing Revue featuring the A-Lure Dancers, soul singer Maurice Williams (whose song "Stay" was featured in the film), and Billy Scott and the Party Prophets. Today, Lake Lure hosts the annual Dirty Dancing Festival.
Kellerman's Hotel is the Mountain Lake Hotel, and it now offers "Dirty Dancing Weekends".
Various images and lines from the film have worked their way into popular culture. Johnny Castle's line, "Nobody puts Baby in a corner", has been used in song lyrics, as the title of the "Nobody Puts Baby in a Corner" episode of the TV series Veronica Mars, and as the title of a Fall Out Boy song. "Nobody puts Baby in a corner" was also quoted in Supernatural: when Dean says the line concerning his beloved Impala and his brother Sam retorts that the line is from a Swayze movie; Dean responds: "Swayze always gets a pass". The line was parodied in the webcomic Looking for Group where Richard, one of the primary characters, uttered a variation involving his own name, and in Family Guy, where the scene is parodied by Baby's parents questioning Johnny due to her youth. In Sweden, feminist art group Sisters of Jam put the text "Nobody puts Baby in a corner" (in English) in white neon light at Umeå Bus Square (2008) and at Karlstad University (2012).
Family Guy also parodies the scene where Baby first sees Johnny dancing with the staff. In the TV series How I Met Your Mother, Barney Stinson attempts to pass off the Dirty Dancing story as the story of his own loss of virginity because he is ashamed of his actual story; the original "Love is Strange" scene is shown with Barney replacing Johnny.
The French film Heartbreaker (2010) pays homage to the film, as a plot detail, with some clips from the film shown and a "recreation" by the two main characters of the "lift" scene.
In the first episode of the TV series New Girl, the female lead Jess watches the film repeatedly after her break up. Jess continues to repeatedly watch the film after various break-ups throughout the series.
The film was adapted for the stage in 2004 as a musical, Dirty Dancing: The Classic Story on Stage. Produced by Jacobsen Entertainment in Australia for $6.5 million, it was written by Eleanor Bergstein and had the same songs as the film, plus a few extra scenes. Musical direction was by Chong Lim (one of the composers for the 2000 Summer Olympics in Sydney), and the initial production starred Kym Valentine as Baby and Sydney Dance Company's Josef Brown as Johnny. Although reviews were mixed, the production was a commercial success, selling over 200,000 tickets during its six-month run. It has also had sellout runs in Germany and in London's West End, where it opened at the Aldwych Theatre on October 23, 2006 with the highest pre-sell in London history, earning £6 million ($US12 million). As of March 2011[update], over 1 million people have seen the musical in London, selling out 6 months in advance. The original West End production closed in July 2011 after a five-year run, prior to a two-year national tour. The show returned to the West End at the Piccadilly Theatre and ran from July 13, 2013 to February 22, 2014 before resuming its tour of the United Kingdom and the Republic of Ireland.
A New York production was in the planning stage in 2006, with the show first starting in other North American cities. It broke box office records in May 2007 for its first such venue, selling $2 million on the first day of ticket sales in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. The production opened on November 15, 2007 at the Royal Alexandra Theatre, with an all-Canadian cast, except for Monica West (Baby Housman), Britta Lazenga (Penny), and Al Sapienza (Jake Housman). After Toronto, the musical opened in Chicago in previews on September 28, 2008 and officially on October 19, 2008, running through January 17, 2009, followed by Boston (February 7 – March 15, 2009) and Los Angeles.
An official American tour began in September 2014 at The National Theatre in Washington, DC with dates scheduled in 31 cities. Previews started August 26 and the official opening night was on September 2.
Tours and TV showEdit
Dirty Dancing has appeared in other forms than the stage version. In 1988, a music tour named Dirty Dancing: Live in Concert, featuring Bill Medley and Eric Carmen, played 90 cities in three months. Also in 1988, the CBS network launched a Dirty Dancing television series, however with none of the original cast or crew. The series was canceled after only a few episodes.
In 2004, a prequel of the film was released, entitled Dirty Dancing: Havana Nights. It tells the story of a sheltered American teenager learning about life through dance, when her family relocates to Havana, Cuba just before the 1959 Cuban Revolution. Swayze was paid $5 million to appear in a cameo role as a dance teacher —considerably more than the $200,000 he earned for the first film.
20th anniversary releasesEdit
For the 20th anniversary in 2007, the film was re-released in theatres with additional footage, while the original film version was re-released on DVD with deleted scenes, and included writer commentary. At the same time, Codemasters released Dirty Dancing: The Video Game. In the United Kingdom, the anniversary was marked by a reality TV show based on the film; titled Dirty Dancing: The Time of Your Life, the TV show was filmed at the Mountain Lake resort.
In the UK, to mark the 20th anniversary of the film, Channel Five broadcast a special documentary called Seriously Dirty Dancing. It was presented by Dawn Porter, an investigative journalist and a self-confessed Dirty Dancing addict. The documentary was very successful, being Channel Five's highest rated documentary of 2007. Porter visited the set of the film, met other Dirty Dancing fanatics, and learned the last dance, which she performed at the end of the documentary in front of family and friends.
In August 2011, Lionsgate, who owns the film rights, announced their plan to remake the film. It was confirmed that the studio had hired the film's choreographer, Kenny Ortega, to direct. "We believe that the timing couldn't be better to modernize this story on the big screen, and we are proud to have Kenny Ortega at the helm," Joe Drake, president of Lionsgate's Motion Picture Group, explained about the project. A miniseries version of "Dirty Dancing" had been scheduled to be shot in Western North Carolina. As of July 29, 2015[update], the miniseries has been put on hold.
In December 2015, ABC ordered a three-hour musical remake of Dirty Dancing, starring Abigail Breslin, Colt Prattes, Debra Messing, Sarah Hyland, Nicole Scherzinger, Billy Dee Williams & Shane Harper. It aired on May 24, 2017. It received negative reviews from a majority of critics.
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Tribute to Emile Ardolino
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