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Dirty Dancing - principal casting announced

Johnny & Baby from the current Dirty Dancing touring cast

Casting news

PRINCIPAL casting has been announced for the West End return of Dirty Dancing – The Classic Story on Stage, which opens at the Piccadilly Theatre on Saturday, July 13, 2013.

American actress Jill Winternitz, from the current touring cast of Dirty Dancing, will continue in her role as Frances ‘Baby’ Houseman and Manchester born Paul-Michael Jones, part of the Dirty Dancing national tour cast since 2011, will reprise his role as Johnny Castle.

Taking on the role of dancer Penny Johnson will be Charlotte Gooch who, as well as playing the part in the 2011-2012 Dirty Dancing touring cast and the Berlin production, understudied the role in the original London show.

Jill Winternitz trained at RADA and her theatre credits include Ophelia in Hamlet and The Prioress in The Canterbury Tales (Queen Mary 2); Wounded (Los Angeles Theatre Ensemble); Nina in The Seagull (MXAT) and Sunday in the Park with George (Interlochen Center for the Arts).

Paul-Michael Jones’ theatre credits include Eddie in Mamma Mia! (Prince of Wales Theatre); understudying and performing the roles of Jake and Adrian in Never Forget (UK tour); Jack in Jack and The Beanstalk (Victoria Theatre, Halifax); We Will Rock You (Cologne) and dance captain in Fame – the Musical (European tour). He has also represented England as a Latin American and Ballroom Dancer, as one of the top two English couples, at The World Championships in Singapore.

Charlotte Gooch was seen most recently on stage playing Dale Tremont in Top Hat at the Aldwych Theatre and Patty Simcox in a UK tour of Grease. Her other theatre credits include Bombalurina in Cats (European tour), dance partner to Anton du Beke in the workshop of Swing Time: The Dance Musical (Sadler’s Wells); Fly with the Stars (London Palladium); the title role in Cinderella (De La Ware Pavillion, Bexhill); Genie of the Ring in Aladdin (North Wales Theatre, Llandudno) and Annabel Glick in Lucky Stiff! directed by Tudor Davies (LTA Studio Theatre).

Set in the 1960s, at an upmarket holiday camp in America’s Catskill Mountains, Dirty Dancing sees the young and naive Frances ‘Baby’ Houseman fall for the charms of the camp’s dance instructor, worldly-wise Johnny Castle.

It features the hit songs Do You Love Me?, Hungry Eyes and the Academy Award-winning (I’ve Had) The Time Of My Life.

Dirty Dancing was adapted for stage by the film’s screenwriter Eleanor Bergstein whose own childhood memories of family holidays in the Catskill’s provided the setting.

Read more about Dirty Dancing.

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