Musical review: “Dirty Dancing” is a knockout hit at Detroit’s Fisher Theatre

DETROIT — Dirty Dancing–The Classic Story on Stage hits the Motor City on October 20-November 1, 2015.  This worldwide smash hit explodes with heart pounding music and makes you want to get up and dance.  It is also a timeless love story that is a crowd pleaser, for sure.

The play takes place during the summer of 1963 at the Kellerman’s Mountain Cabins in New York’s Catskill Mountains.  The Houseman family which includes 17-year old Frances “Baby” Houseman played by a talented Gillian Abbott, Dr. Jake Houseman, the father, played by Mark Elliot Wilson, Marjorie Houseman, the mother, played by Margot White, and Lisa Houseman, “Baby’s” older sister, played by Alex Scolari are on vacation at this cabin.  Baby then helps carry a watermelon into a staff-only dance hall where she discovers people dancing with very sexy dance moves.  Of course, she wants to get in on the action and sets her sights on Johnny Castle, played by Christopher Tierney, the resort’s sexy dance instructor.

Passionate romance ensues with Johnny and Baby finds herself in a place she’s never been before.  He teaches her some dance moves and over time,  their relationship moves to another level both on-stage and off.

Christopher Tierney (Johnny) and the company of DIRTY DANCING (Photo credit: Matthew Murphy)

The music was fabulous with the opening song of “This Magic Moment” and some other familiar songs such as  “Do you love me?”, “Hungry Eyes”,  “Save the Last Dance for Me”, and the most popular  “I’ve had the Time of My Life”.  I thoroughly enjoyed the play and would definitely recommend it.  It was really great.

There were two Acts with a 15-minute intermission.  This production utilizes haze, fog and strobe lights.  At the end of the play, there was a standing ovation.  Also an announcement by one of the cast members.  He invited the audience make their way to the lobby to take a picture with Johnny and Baby while you are carrying a watermelon for a donation of $20 which will go to various charities in the Detroit area.   Other members of the cast held red buckets for even the smallest of donations.

Tickets for Dirty Dancing–The Classic Story on Stage range from $39-$95 (includes parking and facility fees) and can be purchased by phone at 1-800-982-2787, or online at or at the Fisher Theatre box office located at 3011 W. Grand Blvd.  Performances are Tuesday through Saturday evening at 8 p.m., Sunday evening at 7:30 p.m., Saturday and Sunday matinees at 2 p.m.

Overall Rating:  A+

Christopher Tierney (Johnny), Jenny Winton (Penny) and the company (Photo credit: Matthew Murphy)

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