More Than A Feeling

‘Dirty Dancing’ everything fans want

Posted: March 3, 2017 at 1 a.m.

Twenty years after “Dirty Dancing” became a cultural phenomenon, creator Eleanor Bergstein wanted to give her audience what they didn’t know they’d been missing. She brought the story to the stage with a musical — but don’t expect a lot of singing from Baby and Johnny. “It really couldn’t be a traditional musical because no one wants to hear Baby singing ‘Be My Baby’ to Johnny — I mean they would throw soiled handkerchiefs at the stage! So I had to find a new form,” Bergstein says of her nontraditional “musical.” “It is a play with music — 90 percent of the music is live. It’s the way you use music in your real life. … It is kids making music in the summer the way we all do. I think music is the soundtrack of the heart, so you can always remember what happened to you while you were listening to that song, and that’s the way I wanted to use music here.”
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Twenty years after “Dirty Dancing” became a cultural phenomenon, creator Eleanor Bergstein wanted to give her audience what they didn’t know they’d been missing. She brought the story to the stage with a musical — but don’t expect a lot of singing from Baby and Johnny. “It really couldn’t be a traditional musical because no one wants to hear Baby singing ‘Be My Baby’ to Johnny — I mean they would throw soiled handkerchiefs at the stage! So I had to find a new form,” Bergstein says of her nontraditional “musical.” “It is a play with music — 90 percent of the music is live. It’s the way you use music in your real life. … It is kids making music in the summer the way we all do. I think music is the soundtrack of the heart, so you can always remember what happened to you while you were listening to that song, and that’s the way I wanted to use music here.”

Eleanor Bergstein doesn't care why you like "Dirty Dancing" -- whether for the love story, the pretty costumes or the overarching themes -- she's just excited if you like it at all. But in recent history, the creator of the iconic film has noticed more and more people are drawn to the issues presented in the story -- and their continued relevance today.

FAQ

‘Dirty Dancing:

The Classic Story on Stage’

WHEN — 7 p.m. Wednesday; 1:30 & 7 p.m. Thursday; 8 p.m. March 10; 2 & 8 p.m. March 11; 2 p.m. March 12

WHERE — Walton Arts Center in Fayetteville

COST — $48-$97

INFO — 443-5600 or waltonartscenter.org

BONUS — Eleanor Bergstein, spunky creator of both the film and stage versions of “Dirty Dancing,” had a lot to say on 30 years of history with her iconic story. To read more of her thoughts, visit nwaonline.com/whatsup/onstage for exclusive content.

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