Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Dirty Dancing, modernized? Nobody puts Baby in a reboot!

'Dirty Dancing' is like 'The Godfather.' It's a classic and you don't mess with it or otherwise try to improve, rethink, or update it. It's a great story. Period. But in a twist worthy of a 1930s Hollywood musical, Kenny Ortega, who choreographed the 1987 film set in the Catskills during the 1960s, has been named the director of a reboot.

Dirty Dancing, modernized? Nobody puts Baby in a reboot!

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Patrick Swayze uses Jennifer Grey as a free weight in "Dirty Dancing."
Patrick Swayze uses Jennifer Grey as a free weight in "Dirty Dancing."

 Dirty Dancing is like The Godfather. It's a classic and you don't mess with it or otherwise try to improve, rethink, or update it. It's a great story. Period. But in a twist worthy of a 1930s Hollywood musical, Kenny Ortega, who choreographed the 1987 Patrick Swayze/Jennifer Grey dancing romance set in the Catskills during the 1960s, has been named the director of a Dirty Dancing update.

To paraphrase the film's most memorable line: Nobody puts Baby in a reboot!

While I genuinely enjoy the snap and crackle of Ortega, who directed Newsies (a musical starring the very young Christian Bale), High School Musical (introducing Zac Efron) and was involved with the Michael Jackson tour that never happened because of the star's untimely death (This is It), how do you take Eleanor Bergstein's autobiographical story and transpose it to another period?

Your thoughts? Suggestions for how you'd set in another era for fans of So You Think You Can Dance?  Favorite line from the original? I've always been fond of the dance instructor's crack to her pupils, "Ladies, God wouldn't have given you maracas if he didn't want you to shake them!"

 

Film Critic
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Carrie Rickey Film Critic
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