Dirty Dancing-The Classic Story On Stage

Dirty Dancing-The Classic Story On Stage comes to Miller Auditorium for four performances from Sept. 30-Oct. 2, 2016. Tickets are available now and read on for a look behind the scenes…

Dirty Dancing – the classic love story – will be brought to life, live on stage this season. An exceptional cast of actors, singers and dancers have embarked upon a North American tour, stopping in 30-plus cities following its premiere in Washington DC. This beloved, coming-of-age story has been celebrated by audiences worldwide since its movie debut and continues to maintain record-breaking DVD and download sales. The film’s soundtrack not only sold more than 44 million copies, it received a Golden Globe, Academy Award and a Grammy for the hit song “(I’ve Had)  The Time of My Life.”

Eleanor Bergstein wrote the script. She started with the songs she wanted to use then wrote the story against them. She knew what music she wanted playing behind each scene. She wanted the music to function as the soundtrack of the story and of the characters’ hearts. It is filled with number one hits from the 1960’s and created additional hits for the movie that include “Hungry Eyes” and “She’s Like the Wind.” The soundtrack and the way it is used in the film helped catapult the film to great success on the screen and now on the stage.

The captivating story takes place at a lavish vacation resort named Kellerman’s in upstate New York during the summer of 1963 and centers around the relationship between an idealistic young girl Frances “Baby” Houseman and handsome working class dance instructor Johnny Castle.

Baby, on summer vacation with her family before she starts college, is the embodiment of early ’60’s idealism and eager to make her mark on the world.

“That was the summer of 1963. When everybody called me Baby and it didn’t occur to me to mind. That was before President Kennedy got shot, before The Beatles came, when I couldn’t wait to join the Peace Corps and I thought I’d never find a guy as great as my dad. That was the summer we went to Kellerman’s,” says Baby at the start.

At the resort, curious Baby finds herself wandering into the late night Dirty Dancing room of the Kellerman’s staff, to discover a world unknown by the resort’s upstairs guests. The music, the dancing, the ambiance of raw sensuality it something she has never experienced before. It is exciting, thrilling.

The staff kids are dancing to the rhythm and blues music and a beat that has not yet surfaced above ground to the middle class world of the Kellerman’s guests.

A brief dance with Johnny awakens a response in Baby to music she has never known, rhythms she didn’t know were either in the world or inside her.

The story unfolds when Baby volunteers to stand in for Penny, Johnny’s long time dance partner. As Johnny is teaching Baby to dance, an attraction between these two very different people develops, which results in scenes full of heart-pounding music, passionate dancing and wild emotion. The story climaxes when Johnny and Baby’s relationship is publicly revealed and Johnny is about to be fired, needing Baby to sacrifice her family to protect him. It is when Johnny returns, and they give a glorious final dance of the summer season in front of the guests, that the triumphant power of dance to connect oneself to the real world — to honor truth, joy and true love — spills over into the Kellerman’s guests and the theater audience.

Miller Staff Profile: Faith Wicklund

Name: Faith WicklundfaithbuddyBUDDY

Title: Business Manager

Years at Miller Auditorium: 14

Hobbies: Hiking and kayaking.

Favorite Miller Shows: Wicked was here for two weeks the first time and I never missed “Defying Gravity.” So many great shows over the past 14 years, but some of my favorites include Hairspray, Jersey Boys, Mamma Mia!, Once, Peter and the Starcatcher and In the Heights.

One of the craziest experiences you’ve had while at Miller: I worked the meet and greet for Ted Neeley when he was here for Jesus Christ Superstar and he had a long, personal chat with everyone in line and signed as many souvenir items as they carried.  It was great for the fans–though it did last for several hours and his driver had to leave so I drove Ted Neeley back to the Radisson at 2 a.m.

-Compiled by Clayton Dusendang

Behind the Scenes: Miller Broadway Karaoke

By: Jimmy Brand

As you may or may not know, Miller has been having quite a bit of fun over the past few months putting together Broadway Karaoke videos for our upcoming PNC Broadway season. It has been a blast getting to hang out with theatre loving members of the Kalamazoo community. Armed with just a cast album and a few GoPro cameras, we’ve really enjoyed spreading the word about the great Broadway shows coming to Miller this season.

We started off with some of our favorite songs from Dirty Dancing–The Classic Story On Stage, coming to Miller from Sept. 30-Oct. 2 and our special guest, WRKR Morning Show host Stefani Bishop:

Next up was RENT, coming to Miller Nov. 11-13, and WMU grad Mark Jackson joined us. Mark has played Tom Collins on Broadway and on tour for over 2000 performances!

We also got to feel the magic with Rodgers + Hammerstein’s Cinderella, coming to Miller from March 24-26, 2017. Lori Moore, host of CW7’s The Lori Moore Show, made an excellent Fairy Godmother.

And coming soon is Motown the Musical Broadway Karaoke with some very special guests!

(And in case you were wondering, yes, we do travel with tiaras.)



Miller Season Brochures: Coming Soon to a City Near You!

By: Jimmy Brand

It’s summer at Miller Auditorium, which means it’s time for one of our summer traditions: hitting the road! Every year we create our Miller season brochure to showcase all of the great events coming soon to Kalamazoo. Many brochures are mailed and some are distributed at summer events like the KIA Arts Fair, but we also travel to other communities to spread the word about what will be taking the stage at Miller this season.

So far, we’ve traveled to South Haven, Comstock and of course, businesses in Kalamazoo and Portage. We had a fun afternoon in South Haven talking to business owners and we may have stopped at the beach for a minute or two, too. Our travels continue this month as we visit Three Rivers, St. Joseph, Schoolcraft, Constantine and Grand Rapids. Have any requests for where we should bring Miller season brochures next? Send us a message: http://www.millerauditorium.com/contact-us