Dirty Dancing with Baby and Johnny

PATRICK Swayze and Jennifer Grey’s dancing shoes are hard to fill, but Paul-Michael Jones and Emily Holt are doing a fantastic job stepping up to the challenge at Milton Keynes Theatre this month.

Classic film Dirty Dancing is adored by millions, and the stage version is careful to ensure every detail of the movie is reproduced on stage.

It tells the tale of 17-year-old Baby on summer vacation with her family, who learns to dance and falls in love with enigmatic dance teacher Johnny (Paul-Michael Jones).

Emily who plays Baby said: “I was familiar with the film but I wasn’t a crazy fan who knew all the lines like some of the people who come to see the show! There is such an expectation when people come to see the show because of their love of the film, so we want to fulfil their hopes but we also want to bring our own to it and not just copy.”

Emily’s transformation into Baby is quite startling, as with the help of a wig and some adorable facial expressions she is the spitting image of the original beloved Baby.

Emily said: “I really enjoy the lesson sequences when Baby is learning to dance for the first time, but my favourite number to perform is Time Of My Life as we really get to dance properly.”

There are some impressive dance-moves in the show, including the famous lift which Baby and Johnny practice in water.

Rochdale-born Paul-Michael is the perfect person to take on the revered role of Johnny, having been inspired by Patrick Swayze himself as a child.

He said: “Swayze is quite a cool image for a guy interested in dancing. I started as a Latin dancer, doing the Mambo, Salsa, Cha-Cha - all the dances Johnny does in the show. Swayze in Dirty Dancing is just loved by women all over so it was a challenge but I enjoyed trying to step up to the role. This is one of the biggest shows I’ve done and it’s definitely the biggest role I’ve had.

“It’s great as so many people go crazy for it and we feed off the energy from the audience each night. Even the men who are brought along by their wives or girlfriends end up enjoying it. I’ve spoken to men in the pub after performances who tell me how much they ended up liking the show which is brilliant.”

Emily added: “A high percentage of the people who come to watch the show are first-time theatre goers which I think is fantastic. Fans of the film come to see it who might not normally go to the theatre, so I think it’s a great way of drawing them in.”

This really is a brilliant production which stays true to the original film and audiences love it. When Johnny utters the famous line ‘Nobody puts Baby in the corner’ everyone cheers and the electrifying atmosphere is present throughout the play and builds to a fantastic finale.

The Original Soundtrack to the film is still selling 25 years on, and when the first bars of Be My Baby start pounding out across the theatre, you’lll remember why.

You can’t beat Dirty Dancing!

At Milton Keynes Theatre until Saturday May 26. For tickets visit http://www.atgtickets.com/Dirty-Dancing-Tickets/5/228/#overview_tab or call the box office 0844 871 7652.