Dirty Dancing On Stage/Swayze’s Courage At Home

mambo2_brittalazengajosefbrown20081Faithful readers of this fine blog may recall that way back in July I wrote a piece about Dirty Dancing – The Classic Story On Stage … it was just a head’s up that in February 2009 Boston would be treated to the Pre-Broadway East Coast premiere of this re-interpretation of the movie sensation.  I also mentioned that it had all the makings of a very hot ticket.

So now we’re in the dead of Winter, battling an ice cold economy and what’s selling like hot cakes?  That would be tickets to Dirty Dancing – The Classic Story On Stage at Boston’s Opera House.  In fact an additional four weeks have just been added to the run.  So, if you want in … act now.  Performances begin on February 7, and end on April 12.  Check out http://www.broadwayacrossamerica.com/ for times and ticket prices.  Come on, be the envy of you friends when you say, “Oh yeah, I’m going!”

patrickIt’s impossible to talk about Dirty Dancing in any context without mentioning Patrick Swayze.  I watched the Barbara Walters special on his battle with pancreatic cancer on ABC Wednesday night, and was moved by his honesty and courage.  He spoke the truth about this deadly disease … he’s fighting it not beating it.

Unfortunately, I know a lot more about pancreatic cancer than I wish I did … I lost my mother to what I learned to call “pan can” in 2003.  She, like Swayze, had few health problems until this insidious disease struck, then the brutal endgame began.  The one thing pancreatic cancer can’t take away is hope, and Swayze made that abundantly clear in the interview.  Sure he was dealt just about the worst hand possible, but he’s not walking away from the table … he’s gonna fight.

Swayze also didn’t try to whitewash the fact that he’s a smoker … a risk factor for pancreatic cancer.  He hasn’t quit, and he knows it’s an idiotic thing to do … but with everything he’s facing right now, it’s just something he’s not prepared to give up.  I respect that kind of candor.

Of course Barbara couldn’t help but try to make Swayze and his wife Lisa cry about their terrible circumstance.  They’ve been married for over 30 years and have an unbreakable bond … of course tears would come easy.  Still, most of the need to know information came out in the first 40 minutes of the show, when Walters went into her uber-cloying mode I checked out.  I wish a little more of the dignity displayed by Swayze and his wife had rubbed off on Walters.

So, when you go to see Dirty Dancing on stage in Boston, take a little time to think good thoughts about the man who first brought the story to life on the screen.

Also, if you want to learn more about the battle against pancreatic cancer, check in with the good folks at the Worcester-based Pancreatic Cancer Alliance … your help and support would be greatly appreciated.



3 Responses

  1. I want to commend you on a fantastic piece. I, too, watched the Patrick Swayze feature with interest, and I, too, checked out when Walters got overly emotional.
    I appreciate your referring to Swayze and his wife, Lisa, as dignified. They are wonderfully classy people who belie the Hollywood stereotype of snooty actor and wife.
    Thanks so much for reminding people of his very genuine nature and how deeply it matters in a world where being false seems to be the norm.

  2. Brilliantly written piece and accurate observations of Walters and her “skin-crawling” interview technique. I liked this couple before, but now I admire and respect them – which is more than can be said for most people in the entertainment industry (and out). I wish them the best. Once again, well done on this article – both technically and interpretively.

  3. I have been a serious fan of Patrick Swayze for many years and was incredibly moved by the broadcast, but I also wanted to whack Barbara Walters for some of her questions. My husband is also fighting cancer, metastatic colon cancer, and many of the things Swayze spoke about I have witnessed with my husband. I admire the courage and tenacity it must take to fight this awful disease and wish Patrick and Lisa all the best and prayers to help sustain them through this ordeal.

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