by Bronwyn Jameson
During this past week an email arrived in my inbox promoting the musical Dirty Dancing. Now I knew there was a stage version, but I hadn't thought much of it until I perused this flyer. I'm always open to seeing a musical, you see, and given how much I adored the movie you would think this would be right up my alley.
But…no. The thought of anyone but Patrick Swayze and Jennifer Grey in the lead roles turned me right off. I just can't imagine anyone else doing Johnny and Frances justice.
Which got me thinking about other iconic (if that is the right word) musicals/movies. Grease, for example. I adored the movie and John Travolta and Olivia Newton-John made the roles of Danny and Sandy their own, not to mention the stellar supporting cast. But I've seen, and loved, several stage versions of Grease. I think because that experience is an adoration of the singalong, an enjoyment of the songs and the music and the sheer fun and energy, rather than the characters and story.
So, yeah, I can enjoy pretty much any version of Grease or The Rocky Horror Picture Show or even The Sound of Music as long as they sing and dance their hearts out. But Dirty Dancing has to be the movie version or nothing. So I've been thinking of other roles which are totally owned by an actor. Mary Poppins, for example, *is* Julie Andrews…or should that be the other way around?
Do you have a special favourite on-screen characterisation that cannot be matched?
The other thing on my radar--and written all over my calendars and schedules so I don't forget--is the TV series of Outlander debuting this Thursday night. Cannot wait! I've heard really good things from readers who've already seen it in America, so I'm *slightly* more relaxed than I might otherwise have been about how Jamie and Claire are portrayed. Although still anxious. I so want them to get the chemistry right.
Do you have very specific ideas about your favourite book characters, as I do Jamie and Claire? When a book favourite is made into a movie or TV series, do you worry so much about them "being done right" that you're afraid to watch? That you don't watch?