Billy Elliot

Posted: February 10, 2011 in Entertainment, Reviews

Yesterday I went to see the musical, Billy Elliot at the Canon Theatre in Toronto.  I have say that it was a thoroughly enjoyable and entertaining show.  The stage effects, the singing and the dancing were all done with incredible talent. The boy who played Billy Elliot was a 13 year old from Iowa, who is currently studying with the Canadian National Ballet.  It was very refreshing to see a play with a central child character, where that character was actually played by a talented child rather than an adult pretending to be a child.  In spite of a few stumbles, his performance was fantastic.

In general I was underwhelmed by the music.  I expected more from Elton John’s score.  I tend to measure any musicals I see against my favorite, Les Miserables.  In that classic musical, strong melodies and repeated themes burned the songs into your memory.  In the case of Billy Elliot, although the music was pretty good, I didn’t leave the theatre humming any tunes.

Another part of the musical that was a little tarnished was the quality of the acting, which often seemed artificial or forced.  Perhaps, with more time, the actors will develop into their parts.

That being said, I still thought that it was a remarkable experience, and one that I would recommend to all.  The story has a little bit of everything.  Much of it deals with the plight of the coal miners during the strike, and the challenges of the working class.  But the story really centres on one boy’s dream to be himself.  The central theme is to believe in oneself and express oneself honestly.  This is done with both humour and touching drama.

This production gets an A-.

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