By Ebb Rivers
Maybe my expectations were too great for an “Off-Broadway” production, because I left the playhouse feeling a bit disappointed.
The first act was riddled with technical glitches reminiscent of a high school or first year college drama club. There were microphones popping, with sound cutting in and out, half the house sound wasn’t working for a while then suddenly was, I even heard what sounded like a cafeteria table sliding across the floor at one point. Not what one would expect from a “professional” production. I would say this distracted from what could have been a wonderful performance, but I believe it more fair to say the technical issues gave distraction to the performers throwing off the chemistry and dynamics among themselves. Though the scene transitions were seamless, the scenes themselves seemed rushed through.
The second act was much better…much, much better, with only one noticeable technical issue and emergence of the actor dynamics lacking in the first act. The scenes still felt hurried to me, most notably when Lewis Griffiths (Johnny Castle) began speaking lines while the audience was still applauding the previous musical interlude. He stopped for just enough time to recognize the audience’s cheer, but did not wait for it to end and spoke the remaining lines unheard. I am not sure if he did so by his choice or a queue by the stage director, but I would have appreciated being able to hear what was said.
All that being said, I still recommend going to this stage version of ‘Dirty Dancing’. The musical and dance performances were spot on and the comedic relief was very well received by theater goers, making the night one of true entertainment.