Hello folks, here’s the newest installment of our feature where two local theater lovers go see some live performance and discuss it over drinks. Here they review Dirty Dancing Live at The Dark Room:
Last Saturday night we donned our leg warmers and beige iridescent lipstick, and headed to one of our favorite Mission live performance venues, The Dark Room, for their newest show, Dirty Dancing Live! Neither of us had been to one of The Dark Room’s live performances of “classic” films, but we were intrigued by the concept, and had the perfect bar to match the 80s chick flick set in the 60s vibe, Beauty Bar. One of us was pumped, the other skeptical, but both of us were ready for Drama Talk and Drinks . . .
Brittany: When we decided to go see Dirty Dancing Live, I was soo excited. To the point I nearly texted my college roommate to brag. We were the kind of dorks that watched the movie literally over 50 times, in the two years we lived together, so I was expecting to love the show because I LOOOOVE the movie.
Katie: I don’t have any real connection to the film, but was really hoping to be pleasantly entertained, but I don’t even know what to say about what we just saw . . . There were some people laughing, the kids in front of us were having a ball . . . (struggles to find words)
B: Just say it . . . it was awful.
K: It’s just that they didn’t make a clear choice of what it was. Was it a movie reenactment . . . was it an interpretation?
B: Was it a spoof?
K: One moment it would be straight up word for word, moment by moment reenactment. Then they would skip over tons of shit and suddenly be a spoof. It just seemed they didn’t know exactly what they wanted it to be. It had potential to be good if they just made a clearer choice.
B: I love Dirty Dancing the movie – it’s cheesy and corny. If they had taken it far enough, and made it really spoofy, it could have been funny. But you’re right, they didn’t take anything far enough. It felt to me like, if I was trying to study for a test on Dirty Dancing, this was the not as good cliff notes version.
Also, Dirty Dancing is a summer coming of age movie. The actress who played Baby was super adult the whole time, and played the whole being naive thing as just an act, which totally killed the plot.
K: One thing we gotta give her, is that she’s a dead ringer for the actress in the movie (Jennifer Grey). I mean body shape, hair, face I was shocked – looks wise she was amazing. You could tell she’s capable, but maybe just needed better direction? Also, doing a show like this in that space seemed kinda awkward.
B: The Dark room is a hard space – I get that – it is super small. Doing any big dance number is really hard – but that’s what people love about Dirty Dancing! The first time that Baby goes to the staff living area, and sees them dancing, that’s supposed to be a big game changing scene.
K: They didn’t make a moment out of that at all.
B: However, I did think they did the scene where Baby and Johnny lip sync and dance really well. That was spot on and cute. Besides that moment, I just wasn’t with them.
K: I really do love the Dark Room though – it’s such a cool performance venue.
B: Me too, I’ve seen such great stuff there. I’ve enjoyed The Business, other comedy shows, sketch comedy. It’s just this staged movie piece didn’t really know what it wanted to be, so unfortunately it wasn’t much of anything.
The Verdict: Unless you’re friends with one of the actors don’t waste your money. Even if you are friends with the actors, get them to give you comps. Tickets are $15 advance and $20 at the door, even $5 would be a stretch for this mediocre performance.
The Drama Talk: We didn’t know when to laugh and the awkwardness of some of the acting made us want to cry. Although the two leads seemed like they may have had talent, nothing about this performance let them show it. But don’t give up on going to shows at the Dark Room, they always have cool stuff going on!
The Drinks: Unnamed Summer-y deliciousness from the creative mind of the awesome Beauty Bar bartender. Brittany had an Absolute Hibiscus cocktail, and Katie had an Absolute Citrus cocktail. Both were a high point of the evening.
Dirty Dancing Live runs through the end of May, Fridays and Saturdays at 8pm.