If you love “Dirty Dancing” on screen you’ll probably love it on stage.
That’s because “Dirty Dancing: — The Classic Story on Stage” is virtually identical to the film. Unlike most stage adaptations, “Dirty Dancing” takes no liberties with the source material. It’s essentially a word-for-word, note-for-note and step-for-step re-creation of the film.
The national tour of the stage musical is coming to Van Wezel Performing Arts Hall in Sarasota for three performances, one on Tuesday and two on Wednesday
The stage version includes all the songs from the film, including the hits “(I’ve Had) The Time of My Life,” “She’s Like the Wind” and “Hungry Eyes.”
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The story is set in 1963, and the show is also full of hits from the era, including “Be My Baby,” “Big Girls Don’t Cry” and “You Don’t Own Me.”
The stage musical never made it to Broadway, but it’s been popular on tour. The tour passed through Tampa a couple of years ago.
It’s a fun show, especially for fans of the movie, and does a great job of capturing the essence of the film. It even re-creates, through some clever staging, the scene in which Johnny and Baby rehearse on a log in a river. More importantly, the steamy attraction between Johnny and Baby comes through on stage, or at least it did with the cast that performed the show a couple of years back.
Occasionally the transformation is awkward. Film editing just can’t be re-created on stage. But the show’s really fun, even for people who don’t know the film.
Details: Jan. 10-11, Van Wezel Performing Arts Hall, 777 N. Tamiami Trail, Sarasota. 8 p.m. Tuesday, 2 and 8 p.m. Wednesday. $71-$106. 941-953-3368, vanwezel.org.