Samuel Pergande and Jillian Mueller will star as Johnny Castle and Frances “Baby” Houseman in the North American tour of Dirty Dancing – The Classic Story On Stage. The stage musical of the worldwide smash-hit film begins performances August 26 in Washington, D.C., prior to a September 2 opening night at the National Theatre, 10 years after the original stage production received its world premiere in Sydney, Australia.
Pergande and Mueller lead a company of 26 that also includes Doug Carpenter (Billy Kostecki, Singer), Jerome Harmann-Hardeman (Tito Suarez), Caralyn Kozlowski (Marjorie Houseman), Jesse Liebman (Neil Kellerman), Gary Lynch (Max Kellerman), Herman Petras (Mr. Schumacher), Emily Rice (Lisa Houseman), Mark Elliot Wilson (Dr. Jake Houseman) and Jenny Winton (Penny Johnson). The ensemble comprises John Antony, Rachel Boone, Amanda Brantley, Jon Drake, Josh Drake, Sam Edgerly, Rashaan James, II, Joshua Keith, Alexandra Matteo, Kevin Munhall, Phoebe Pearl, Virginia Preston, Michael Thomas Pugliese, Jennlee Shallow and Nicole Spencer.
“The company that we have assembled for our North American tour is beautiful and truthful,” says Eleanor Bergstein, screenwriter of the film Dirty Dancing and book writer for the musical. “I originally wrote the movie because I love to dance. And since the movie first appeared, the openhearted audience response has made me believe that everyone has a secret dancer inside them, one they feel could connect them to the physical world in the way they dream. This remarkable cast brings those dreams to life through their extraordinary talent and exceptional skill and it’s a thrill for us to have this group of people bring Dirty Dancing home to North America.”
The production’s book is written by Eleanor Bergstein and the North American tour will be directed by James Powell, with choreography by Michele Lynch based on the original choreography by Kate Champion. The creative team also includes Stephen Brimson Lewis (set design), Tim Mitchell (lighting design), Jennifer Irwin (costume design), Bobby Aitken (sound design), Jon Driscoll (video and projection design), Bernie Ardia (hair design), Conrad Helfrich (music supervisor and orchestrations), and Alan Plado (music director).
Dirty Dancing – The Classic Story On Stage is an unprecedented live experience, exploding with heart-pounding music, passionate romance and sensational dancing. Seen by millions across the globe, this timeless love story features the hit songs “Hungry Eyes,” “Hey Baby,” “Do You Love Me?” and the heart-stopping “(I’ve Had) The Time Of My Life.” London’s Sunday Express says “This crowd-pleasing stage adaptation hits the jackpot!”
It’s the summer of 1963, and 17-year-old Frances ‘Baby’ Houseman is on vacation in New York’s Catskill Mountains with her older sister and parents. Mesmerized by the racy dance moves and pounding rhythms she discovers in the resort’s staff quarters, Baby can’t wait to be part of the scene, especially when she catches sight of Johnny Castle, the resort’s sexy dance instructor. Passions ignite and Baby’s life changes forever when she is thrown in to the deep end as Johnny’s leading lady, both on-stage and off.
Dirty Dancing – The Classic Story On Stage was first performed at the Theatre Royal in Sydney, Australia in November 2004 before embarking upon a hugely successful tour of Australia and New Zealand. A new production opened at the Theater Neue Flora in Hamburg, Germany in March 2006 where it broke records for achieving the highest advance in European history.
The production began performances on London’s West End in October 2006 with an £11 million advance and went on to become the longest running show in the history of the Aldwych Theatre. It closed in July 2011 in advance of a two-year UK national tour and then returned to London for a strictly limited season at the Piccadilly Theatre.
Dirty Dancing – The Classic Story On Stage has gone on to perform across the world in markets as diverse as Utrecht, Holland, Johannesburg and Cape Town, South Africa. It is currently represented by a new UK tour, which launched March 2014 in Bristol, and a German tour, which launched April 2014 in Berlin. The show will return to Australia with a new company set to premiere in late 2014 in honor of the stage production’s 10th anniversary. Future productions are planned for Italy (October 2014) and France (January 2015).
The North American tour of Dirty Dancing – The Classic Story On Stage is produced by Amber Jacobsen, NETworks Presentations LLC, Grove Entertainment, and Col Joye in association with Lionsgate and Magic Hour Productions.