Live musical adaptations have quickly become the thing to do. While NBC started this new trend and has produced 3 live musicals to date, it now appears that competing networks are trying to cash in on this new trend. FOX recently put on a spectacular version of Grease: Live, and ABC will be making its first foray into the growing genre with a live remake of the classic 1987 film Dirty Dancing. Casting announcements have slowly been coming to light and now it appears that another star is lined up to play one of the supporting roles in Dirty Dancing.
The Wrap is reporting that actress, singer, and former Pussycat Dolls leader Nicole Scherzinger has been cast as the role of Penny Johnson in the upcoming remake of Dirty Dancing. While Scherzinger might have a distinctly different look than the original Penny, played by Cynthia Rhodes, she definitely has the talent to step into those dancing shoes.
Some people may be originally confused about Nicole Scherzinger being cast in a live musical event like this, it actually makes perfect sense. Obviously Scherzinger is best known for being the lead singer in The Pussycat Dolls, but her performance credits extend far beyond that. The singer majored in musical theatre in college, and has done a handful of live stage performances since The Pussycat Dolls disbanded. She performed the lead role of Maureen (originated by Idina Menzel) in the Neil Patrick Harris directed version of RENT at the Hollywood Bowl. She also recently made her West End debut as Grizabella in Cats.
The role of Penny has one of the more serious storylines in Dirty Dancing. The original dancing partner of Patrick Swayze’s Johnny, she ends up becoming accidentally pregnant. Baby steps up as a friend and confidante and gets the money for Penny’s illegal abortion and volunteers to cover her performances as Penny recovers.
As Johnny’s dance partner, Nicole Scherzinger will definitely be doing a fair amount of choreography, in which she can use her training and experience as a winner of Dancing With The Stars. Additionally her recent role in Cats surely included a fair amount of dance, in addition to the abundance of choreo she had to learn while she was still in The Pussycat Dolls.
Nicole Scherzinger is the latest in a rather star studded cast for the Dirty Dancing revival. The project was announced with Abigail Breslin as the leading role of Baby. We also recently learned that The Mysteries of Laura and former Will and Grace star Debra Messing will be playing Baby’s mother. Conversely Colt Prattes, a relative unknown, will be taking Patrick Swayze’s iconic role.
We’ll continue to update you as more casting announcements for Dirty Dancing become public. No air date has been announced yet.