THE weather has just turned unexpectedly hotter again, maybe something to do with the arrival in town of Dirty Dancing and in particular one Michael O'Reilly. Tall, handsome, new-name-to-York Michael O'Reilly, who had the aisles all o'flutter at Tuesday's press night.

Producer Karl Sydow last brought this Italianate production of Dirty Dancing, The Classic Story On Stage to the Grand Opera House only two years ago to the month. You might argue the return is too soon, but the cheers all around from the predominantly female audience would suggest they are more than happy to see Johnny, Baby, water melons et al.

"No-one puts Baby in the corner," goes Johnny Castle's most famous line, but in this case that might be because the corner is already pretty crowded, courtesy of the touring set design being something of a tight fit.

The Grand Opera House has one of the smaller stages on the commercial circuit, and Dirty Dancing has two revolving pieces of scenery essential to Roberto Comotti's design for a Catskills holiday resort in clean-cut 1963 USA.

Performers had to squeeze on stage sideways on some occasions but adapted well to the reduced circumstances, also shrugging off a technical hitch that derailed the performance for a few minutes as drills went to work.

Such is the unpredictable nature of live theatre, but the highly committed cast members found their rhythm again, even if the ensemble dancing to Gillian Bruce's sharp-angled choreography had its style cramped.

This Dirty Dancing is an Italian job, first staged over there, with Federico Bellone, formerly artistic director of Teatro Nazionalde in Milan, directing Eleanor Bergstein's musical adaptation of her film script.

In Bellone's hands, Dirty Dancing becomes more of a play with songs than an out-and-out musical, with only three multi-instrumentalists in the Kellerman's band, although it's good to see them on stage rather than in a pit. Some numbers are the recorded hit versions, but others are performed live with Colin Charles's crooning Tito Suarez, Sian Gentle-Green's Elizabeth, Alex Wheeler's Billy and Lizzie Ottley's ditzy Lisa Houseman all to the fore.

The leads, O'Reilly's dance teacher Johnny Castle and Kira Malou's eager-to-learn-everything teenager Frances 'Baby' Houseman, concentrate on the "dirty" dancing and the love story. The somewhat stiff script is not the best in the world, but O'Reilly, in his professional stage debut, certainly has a swagger, a rebellious presence, plenty of hip action, and if his movement is a little uptight, then so is Johnny. Occasionally too, he needs clearer diction on account of his deep voice.

Malou has to wear a curly wig almost as famous as Annie's red mop but she is relishing her move up from understudy to full-time Baby, and truly no-one can put her in the corner in her dynamic, zestful performance.

Dirty Dancing, The Classic Story On Stage, Grand Opera House, York, until Saturday. Box office: 0844 871 3024 or at