Saturday, 28 January 2017

Preview: Dirty Dancing at Sunderland Empire



AFTER A THIRD SENSATIONAL WEST END SEASON,
DIRTY DANCING RETURNS 

Dirty Dancing – The Classic Story On Stage
Sunderland Empire
Monday 26th June – Saturday 1st July 2017

Producers Karl Sydow and Paul Elliott are delighted to announce that the new UK production of Dirty Dancing – The Classic Story On Stage, will mambo back onto the road after a sensational Christmas season in the West End followed by international dates in Bremen and Cannes. The show opens in Southend on 11 January and tours the UK and Ireland until the autumn of 2017 with a date at  Sunderland Empire Monday 26th June – Saturday 1st July 2017.
Starring Lewis Griffiths as ‘Johnny Castle’, Katie Hartland as ‘Baby Houseman’ and Carlie Milner as ‘Penny Johnson’, the UK tour has taken over £10million pounds since it hit the road last August and, due to overwhelming demand for tickets around the country, even more dates have been added, including return visits to Manchester, Blackpool, Liverpool, Woking and Sunderland.
The classic story of Baby and Johnny, featuring the hit songs 'Hungry Eyes', ‘Hey! Baby’, ‘Do You Love Me?’ and the heart stopping ‘(I’ve Had) The Time Of My Life’, returns to the UK, following two blockbuster West End runs, two hit UK tours, and various international productions.
Full of passion and romance, heart-pounding music and sensationally sexy dancing, this record-breaking all new concept of the show is directed by Federico Bellone, choreographed by Gillian Bruce with set design re-imagined by top Italian designer Roberto Comotti. It premiered in Milan in July 2015, subsequently packing out the 15,000 seat Roman Arena in Verona, and then played a season in Rome.
Lewis Griffiths has had a prolific career in musical theatre, most recently starring as ‘Nick Massi’ on the UK tour of Jersey Boys. Other roles in UK tours include Ghost and Legally Blonde, and West End credits include Priscilla Queen of the Desert, Rent and Whistle Down the Wind.
Katie Hartland made her professional musical theatre debut carrying the watermelons as ‘Baby Houseman’, having graduated from the Royal Central School of Speech and Drama in 2015.
Carlie Milner is part of the Dirty Dancing family; starting as a member of the ensemble in 2014, she covered and subsequently took over the role of ‘Penny’ in 2015.
The rest of the company are: Julian Harries as ‘Jake Houseman’, Simone Craddock as ‘Marjorie Houseman’, Tony Stansfield ‘as Max Kellerman’, Jo Servi as ‘Tito Suarez’, Lizzie Ottley as ‘Lisa Houseman’, Michael Kent as ‘Billy Kostecki’, Greg Fossard as ‘Neil Kellerman’, Nigel Nevinson as ‘Mr Schumacher’, Daniela Pobega as ‘Elizabeth’, and Camilla Rowland as ‘Vivian’. Also joining the company are Gabby Antrobus, Imogen Brooke, Simon Campbell, Robert Colvin, Katie Eccles, Beth Highsted, Samuel John Humphreys, Megan Louch, Ashley Rumble, Callum Sterling, Austin Wilks and Karl James Wilson, who is the Alternate ‘Johnny Castle’.
It’s the summer of 1963, and 17 year- old Frances ‘Baby’ Houseman is about to learn some major lessons in life as well as a thing or two about dancing. On holiday in New York’s Catskill Mountains with her older sister and parents, she shows little interest in the resort activities, and instead discovers her own entertainment when she stumbles across an all-night dance party at the staff quarters. Mesmerised by the raunchy dance moves and the pounding rhythms, Baby can’t wait to be part of the scene, especially when she catches sight of Johnny Castle the resort dance instructor. Her life is about to change forever as she is thrown in at the deep end as Johnny’s leading lady both on-stage and off, and two fiercely independent young spirits from different worlds come together in what will be the most challenging and triumphant summer of their lives.
Dirty Dancing –The Classic Story On Stage originally opened at London’s Aldwych Theatre in 2006 with a record-breaking advance of £15 million, making it the fastest ever selling show in West End theatre history. The production became the longest running show in the history of the Aldwych Theatre and played to over 2 million people during its triumphant 5 year run.
Since its Australian debut in 2004, Dirty Dancing – The Classic Story On Stage, has become a worldwide phenomenon, with productions staged in the USA, Canada, Germany, the Netherlands, Sweden, South Africa, Hong Kong, Singapore and throughout Europe, consistently breaking box office records. Recent sell out tours include France, Germany and Australia. The first ever UK tour of Dirty Dancing – The Classic Story On Stage, launched in 2011 and then returned to the West End in 2013 playing at the Piccadilly Theatre in London, prior to launching a second UK and Ireland tour.
Produced by Karl Sydow, Joye Entertainment and Paul Elliott, in association with Lionsgate and Magic Hour Productions, and written by Eleanor Bergstein, script writer of the phenomenally successful 1987 film, the production features the much-loved characters and original dialogue from the iconic film, as well as exciting extra scenes added in.
On The Web:
Tickets:
Tickets available from the Box Office on High Street West, via the ticket centre 0844 871 3022* or www.ATGtickets.com/Sunderland *calls cost up to 7p per minute plus standard network charges. Booking and transaction fees may apply to telephone and online bookings.




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