Dirty Dancing Tour Keeps Newcomer in Step

By Richard Schultz - Feb. 12, 2015 (Photos by Matthew Murphy.)

Samuel Pergande (Johnny), Joshua Keith and
Doug Carpenter (Billy).

For his first national tour, Joshua Keith couldn’t be any happier to be a part of the talented company of the stage version of Dirty Dancing – which makes a stop at ASU Gammage Feb.17-22.

Dirty Dancing – The Classic Story On Stage is an unprecedented live experience, exploding with heart-pounding music, passionate romance and sensational dancing. Seen by millions across the globe, this timeless love story features the hit songs “Hungry Eyes,” “Hey Baby,” “Do You Love Me?” and the heart-stopping “(I’ve Had) The Time Of My Life.”

It’s the summer of 1963, and 17-year-old Frances “Baby” Houseman is on vacation in New York’s Catskill Mountains with her older sister and parents. Mesmerized by the racy dance moves and pounding rhythms she discovers in the resort’s staff quarters, Baby can’t wait to be part of the scene, especially when she catches sight of Johnny Castle, the resort’s sexy dance instructor. Passions ignite and Baby’s life changes forever when she is thrown in to the deep end as Johnny’s leading lady, both on stage and off.

This tour features a book written by Eleanor Bergstein, who penned the screenplay for the iconic film, and is directed by James Powell with choreography by Michele Lynch that is based on the original choreography by Kate Champion.

Keith, who is a member of the ensemble and the understudy for Tito, is a gifted dancer who credits his success to his persistence and commitment to ongoing training. He was born and raised in Winston-Salem, N.C. and attended Howard University in Washington, D.C. where he earned Bachelor of Fine Arts in Musical Theatre with a concentration in dance.

He moved to New York City four years ago to take classes where he developed his performance technique and has appeared in A Christmas Carol, In The Heights, All Shook Up, A Chorus Line, and Debbie Allen’s Oman! Oman! at the Kennedy Center.

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Photo by Margo Amala on Unsplash

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