Thursday, January 10, 2013

Review: (Montreal) Billy Elliot

It's Not the Movie
by Élaine Charlebois
Following a similar (yet not identical) storyline to the film, Billy Elliot the Musical tells the story of a young boy from a working class family who yearns to become a ballet dancer in spite of his family’s disapproval. The story is set in a small town in Northern England during the historic miners’ strike of 1984/85, a battle that both Billy’s father and older brother are involved in throughout the story. Realising that his desire to become a dancer will not go over well with his macho father who insists that he take boxing lessons, Billy decides to secretly attend Mrs. Wilkinson’s ballet classes after school. Noticing the boy’s great talent, Mrs. Wilkinson offers to coach Billy privately and ultimately encourages him to audition for the Royal Ballet School in London. However, in order to achieve his dream of becoming a ballet dancer, Billy must first deal with the family and social tensions that prevent him from attaining his goal.  
While it is safe to say that Billy Elliot the Musical is an impressive Broadway show, namely due to Elton John’s musical contribution and Peter Darling’s amazing choreography, certain scenes nevertheless seemed to be either too long or simply unnecessary. This criticism, however, surely stems from the fact that I so loved the film upon which this musical is based, thus leading me to make mental notes every time a new scene was inserted into the story. Furthermore, there were moments in the play in which there seemed to be some over-acting.  Though I especially enjoyed Jake Kitchin (Michael) and Noah Paret’s (Billy) performances - especially the scene where both have a blast cross-dressing -  certain elements about the cast’s delivery seemed a tad overdone. 
That said, if you have the chance to see Billy Elliot the Musical, the visual and musical experience is well worth the slightly excessive length of the show (approx. 3 hours including intermission). 

1 comment:

  1. The show was good, l have seen this in London, UK before and there show was different to the other one. True some scenes are a little different.
    Its a shame though at Place des Arts theater that the acoustics are so bad why the place des art owners dosen't invest any money on giving Montrealers a better more enjoyable experience.


Comments are moderated. Please read our guidelines for posting comments.