Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Billy Elliot

The talent in this show is amazing. Especially so when you realize that half the cast hasn't even hit puberty.

There is a lot of advertising and buzz going around London for this show right now, and I am so glad that I was able to work it into my schedule to see it here. Obviously, this is a musical about dancing, and even for people who are not fans of ballet, this show has incredible varieties of dance that are all so emotionally charged that some of the most intense moments were without dialog or singing all together. The little boy who plays Billy takes on not only feats of tap, ballet, and acrobatics, but a very tragic story of a family that lost its mother and is currently losing its means of living. I have never before heard an audience of that size (or any size, really) sniffle and cry after a scene of ballet dancing.

Undoubtedly my American friends and I missed some of the humor and political points about Margaret Thatcher and the coal miner strikes, but that was really a secondary story line to the boy and his talent and the boy and his family, and how the two worlds clash and support while one begins to flourish and one begins to falter. The music, by Sir Elton John, was fantastic. The ensemble of little ballerinas in tutus contrasted with strikers and police were incredible in sound and choreography.

I would recommend this show to anyone in London or New York. Billy Elliot is visually stunning and the pricey ticket is worth it if only to see the amazing choreography.

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