Entertainment Hive 2020

Teagan Wouters' quirky theatre role

By Honey B

Performer Teagan Wouters admits that playing Lisa Houseman in Dirty Dancing The Classic Story On Stage is like a guilty little pleasure. "I grow to love Lisa more and more every time I step on-stage to play her,'' Wouters says. "Lisa is just so fun - she's a pretty girl, she dresses well and she wants to have a boyfriend and all of that. "But she's also a little bit awkward and endearing at the same time. You can't help falling in love with her.'' You also can't help but fall in love with the time as the action travels back to the summer of 1963, and 17 year old “Baby” Houseman (played by Kirby Burgess) is about to learn some major lessons in life as well as a thing or two about dancing. On holiday in New York’s Catskill Mountains with her older sister and parents, Baby discovers her own entertainment when she stumbles upon the staff quarters when an all- night dance party is in full swing. Mesmerised by the raunchy dance moves and the pounding rhythms, Baby can’t wait to be part of the scene, especially when she catches sight of Johnny Castle (Kurt Phelan) the resort dance instructor.   But it's not just Baby's life that changes on this family holiday, Wouters says Lisa and the whole family learn a lot in a time of social change. "The movie was so cutting edge with social issues of the differing class structures. There was the middle and upper class telling everyone how it was supposed to be and how you were supposed to act. "But then, down below there was this self expression happening - this dirty dancing and a sexual awakening. "There's also the way Johnny is treated by the Houseman's compared to Lisa's pick, Robbie (Chris Ostrenski). We all know that Johnny is the better guy. "It's interesting to go back to that time and see how far we may have come.'' More than anything, Wouters says that Dirty Dancing The Classic Story On Stage is quirky and fun. "The show makes fun of itself and that's why the audience really loves it. "It's not trying to be something that it is not and it's not all big and fancy with incredible sets. It's really simple and lovely, with good music and creates such a wonderful whole feeling. "The show uses projection screens for different scenes like the field and water scenes and the audience is just on-board and they go with it. It's a theatre version of the movie.'' Wouters says that the audience is also with Lisa the whole way - especially in her big talent show scene. "It was a hard process to become Lisa at the start because I did think that she wasn't a good singer, but then the director told me that she was at the top of the amateur ranks. "She doesn't necessarily have to sing Hula Hana badly, it's just that she is trying really, really hard and that's the comedy.'' Other hit songs featured in the production include Hungry Eyes, Hey! Baby, Do You Love Me? and the iconic (I’ve Had) The Time Of My Life. Dirty Dancing The Classic Story On Stage, Adelaide Festival Theatre, from October 2 to November 1. Bookings: BASS 131 246
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