Monday, February 23, 2009
Billy Elliot on Broadway
Many, many years ago, in Madrid, Spain, I saw Elton John perform on a grand stage somewhere in the heart of the city. We had skins (yeah, skins) filled with apple wine and we danced and laughed with our Spanish comrades to the raucous stylings of my childhood hero. I couldn’t remember ever not knowing Elton John’s music and flashy, dazzling style. I have always been and always will be a huge fan!
So when I received tickets to see Billy Elliot on Broadway as an anniversary gift from my husband, I could not possibly have been more thrilled! Elton John wrote the brilliant score for this incredible show, confirming his extremely high ranking in my heart!
Billy Elliot is an eleven year old boy growing up without his mother during the Northern England coal miners’ strike of the eighties. Against his father and older brother’s wishes, Billy trades his boxing gloves for ballet shoes. We follow Billy while he follows his dreams during this uplifting and inspiring musical.
With all the grit of an English coal mine and all the flamboyance of Sir Elton John himself, Billy Elliot is a delightful roller-coaster ride of dance, drama, and passion! It is riotously loud and heart-achingly tender.
The role of Billy Elliot is so demanding for such a young boy, that the part is actually shared by three gifted stars. Our Billy was played by Kiril Kulish, who is an amazingly talented young actor who has secured his place in history (and my heart) by being one of the original stars of this production. For three hours this adorable and prodigious boy dances his heart out (ballet, tap, contemporary dance), sings, performs gymnastic and aerial feats that leave us awestruck and screaming for more! Together with the charming, gregarious cross-dressing little smart ass, Michael, played in our production by David Bologna, Billy Elliot and the hysterical pack of uncoordinated ballerinas made me laugh and cry and cheer from start to finish.
Yes, it is dancing, and yes, it is a musical, but - to me - Billy Elliot is so much more! It’s rough-and-tumble, spitting, swearing, fighting ... ... ... ... dreaming, believing, struggling and succeeding! If I never see another Broadway production as long as I live, it would be absolutely fine by me because I have already seen the best!