South O’ the Highway

‘Dirty Dancing’ with Debra Messing Airs on May 24

ABC’s upcoming reboot of Dirty Dancing, co-starring Hamptonite Debra Messing, will premiere on Wednesday, May 24. The movie reimagines the 1987 film about a young woman staying at a Catskill resort in the summer of 1963 who falls in love with the hotel dance instructor, a troubled man from the wrong side of the tracks.

The original film, directed by Emile Ardolino and choreographed by Kenny Ortega, was a massive hit thanks to its sexy dance scenes and sizzling chemistry between co-stars Jennifer Grey (Baby) and the late Patrick Swayze (Johnny). The film also starred Jerry Orbach as Baby’s father Jake, Kelly Bishop as her mother Marjorie, Cynthia Rhodes as Johnny’s dancer friend Penny, Jane Brucker as Baby’s sister Lisa and Charles Coles as pianist Tito Suarez.

Wayne Blair directs the new film, which stars Abigail Breslin as Baby, Colt Prattes plays Johnny, Nicole Scherzinger plays Penny, Bruce Greenwood plays Jake and Sarah Hyland plays Lisa. Messing plays Marjorie, which reportedly gives the character a larger role than in the original, where she was mainly portrayed as a stereotypical 1960s housewife.

Debra Messing in 'Dirty Dancing.'
Debra Messing in ‘Dirty Dancing.’ Photo: Guy D’Alema/ABC

Messing told People, “It’s all the music and dancing you love—it’s in this version. It’s longer so they were able to beef up the character of Marjorie Houseman—Baby’s mom—that I play, which wasn’t much of a role the first time around. That was really exciting to me, being able to explore her and explore their marriage…that was very satisfying to me.” Messing will also sing a solo in the movie, presumably at the climactic talent show that closes out the summer. “There were all kinds of extra challenges that scared me, and usually when I’m scared to do something I have to do it,” she said.

Fans of Messing can look forward to seeing her reprise her iconic role as Grace Adler in NBC’s reboot of Will & Grace later this year.

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