Billy Elliot The Musical – A Show with Heart

My daughter has loved Billy Elliot the Musical since she first saw it on Broadway a few years back, so when I had the opportunity to get tickets to the production at the Ordway in St. Paul, there was no doubting who would accompany me.

We weren’t disappointed.

If you’re not familiar with Billy Elliot, it’s about a preteen who manages to stumble from boxing lessons into ballet class and learns he loves it, much to the mortification of his coal-mining father and brother. The musical is set in 1984 Northern England at the time of the coal miners strike, a strike that nearly caused civil war within the country.

It’s a play about family and work and following your dreams. While Billy’s father, brother, and townspeople initially mock Billy (played by Noah Parets on October 9) for his love of ballet, eventually they all get behind him and are even inspired by his talent and drive. His heart.

And the heart of this musical is especially evident in Billy’s dance numbers. His rage screams out in “Angry Dance”, a response to his family refusing to let him audition for the Royal Ballet School. His “Electricity” number brought tears to the audience’s eyes as Billy poured out how dancing inspired him. Anyone who has a gift, a dream, be it a writer, businessman, or farmer can relate to the lyrics: Electricity Lyrics.

Other poignant moments occur when Billy’s deceased mother appears and sings out her love letter to him (“Dear Billy” – Mum’s Letter) and when Billy sings his love letter back to her (“Dear Billy” – Billy’s Reply).

If you’re looking for a production that offers phenomenal dancing and fantastic vocals, give Billy Elliot a try. You will not be disappointed.

Billy Elliot the Musical plays through October 14 at the Ordway. Click <here> to purchase tickets. It continues its tour around the United States. Check if Billy Elliot is coming to your area <here>.

*This musical is not recommended for younger children due to course language and violent situations.

Comments 5

  1. I loved the movie and I think the musical is coming up here too. I’ll have to check into that. Can you imagine being able to find a young dancer who can emote the way you’ve described? I’d love to know the behind the scenes search that went on for a kid like that.

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      And the amazing thing is, Kav, there are (4) different dancers portraying Billy Elliot because the role is so demanding. There are several other young dancers in the show as well. They just blew me away with their talent.

  2. The dancing was excellent and the story line very true. I believe that it would have been so much better if the language was NOT so vulgar. I didn’t think it was necessary for the foul language especially knowing there are young kids, mainly girls in the audience. We didn’t feel it added anything but really took away from the show. Would not recommend.

    1. Hi Denise – thanks for stopping by & commenting.

      I would absolutely agree that the language was vulgar. In my opinion, it didn’t add to the story line, but detracted from it. (I understand that it was even toned down from the New York show.)

      My daughter (who loves theater) and I discussed the language issue on the drive home–as a parent, the language would have been enough for me tell my daughter “Sorry, not this one.” if she wanted to audition for Billy Elliot. At what point do you compromise your beliefs for art? Do parents not care? I guess that’s another discussion. 😉

      It’s definitely not a show I would take young kids to, but adults will appreciate the story & dancing. I enjoyed it, but would not go see it again.

      Thanks for stopping by & giving your honest opinion, Denise. I appreciate it!

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