DIRTY Dancing has a nostalgic appeal that spans generations.

I was a student when the film was released; my housemates and I used to get ready to go out with the soundtrack playing (someone had the cassette). This week I took my niece to see the show, based on the much-loved 1987 movie, and she fell for it too.

As the audience left the theatre there was a surge of people making for the stage door - it didn’t take a rocket scientist to work out who they wanted to see.

For my generation, Dirty Dancing was all about Patrick Swayze. “Was he, like, Harry Styles for people your age?” asked my niece. Many actors have stepped into Jonny’s dancing shoes since Swayze, and, while they’re big shoes to fill, Michael O’Reilly did the role proud. Just ask the fans sprinting to the Alhambra stage door...

Bradford Telegraph and Argus: Michael O'Reilly as Jonny and Kira Malou as BabyMichael O'Reilly as Jonny and Kira Malou as Baby (Image: Mark Senior)

Set over a summer at Kellerman’s, a holiday resort in the mountains of upstate New York, this is a story of love, class and self expression. Frances ‘Baby’ Houseman is on vacation with her family. It is, says Baby: “the summer of 1963...before President Kennedy was 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.”

Baby meets Jonny Castle, a charismatic dancer employed by Kellerman’s to charm the guests, and discovers a very different kind of dancing in the bar where Jonny’s gang hangs out. Once she starts to learn the moves, the awkward college girl blooms.

Bradford Telegraph and Argus: The legendary lift in Dirty DancingThe legendary lift in Dirty Dancing (Image: Mark Senior)

This a slick production, with nice comic touches and sizzling choreography set to the iconic soundtrack - including Do You Love Me?, Hungry Eyes, She’s Like the Wind, Love Man and the showstopper (I’ve Had) The Time of My Life. A great live band, led by the excellent Colin Charles as Kellerman’s resident singer Tito Suarez, brought the cracking songs to life.

Bradford Telegraph and Argus: Colin Charles as singer Tito Suarez Colin Charles as singer Tito Suarez (Image: Mark Senior)

Kira Malou was delightful as Baby; transforming from nerdy doctor’s daughter to self-assured young woman, whose social conscience is the backbone of the story. Her early dance scenes were endearingly goofy, it felt like we were on the journey with her.

Michael O’Reilly lit up the stage as Jonny; the smouldering, edgy outsider who has his own demons to wrestle on the dancefloor.

Great performances too from Georgia Aspinall as Penny, Bradford actor Danny Colligan as Baby’s pal Billy, Jack Loy and Taryn Sudding as the Housemans, Daisy Steere - hilarious as Lisa - and Mark McKerracher as Max Kellerman.

A delighted audience whooped and cheered to the one-liners (“Nobody puts Baby in the corner”) and the big crowdpleaser - that lift. They had the time of their lives!

* Dirty Dancing is at the Alhambra until Saturday.