Be inspired by the 2009 Tony Award winning musical Billy Elliot, now playing at the Kravis Center in West Palm Beach. This is one musical you surely do not want to miss. Trust me!
Billy Elliot, based on the Universal Studios film of the same title, is set in North Eastern England during the 1984 Miners’ strike. It tells the story of an 11-year-old boy, Billy Elliot (played at my performance by Noah Parets) who against all odds sets out to follow his dreams. Elliot stumbles out of his boxing class and into a ballet class, despite his father’s wishes. Elliot finds motherly comfort in his ballet teacher, Mrs. Wilkinson (Janet Dickinson) who recognizes a raw, hidden talent in Elliot and persuades him to audition for the Royal Ballet School. It will take Elliot much courage, determination and hope to fight for what he loves to do.
The message of this musical is presented loud and clear. Don’t let others get in the way of your happiness. Stand up for what you believe in and always let your individuality shine bright. It has a great, inspirational message that will be highly resonate with everyone, both young and old.
Elliot is one joyful, exhilarating celebration that touched me on so many levels. The combination of drama, passionate dancing and highly energetic musical numbers were used effectively to stir one’s emotions and soul. The musical numbers are big, memorable and grand; each of them getting standing ovations. The clever, fun lyrics were written by Sir Elton John. This takes the cake for one of the best, most spirited musicals of our generation.
Parets, who played the title character Billy Elliot at my performance, was simply a marvel. He is one amazing, passionate talent that you cannot take your eyes off. Sensitivity, power and emotion ooze off of Parets when he dances. He most definitely gives the Miami City Ballet a run for their money! There are two scenes in particular, the “Angry Dance” and the dance between Elliot and his older self, that holds such a gravitational supremacy over you. You will root for Elliot for the entire musical. You will cheer him on in hopes that he finds his success. Only the sourest of sour pusses will not.
Dickinson, who is well known at the Kravis Center as she played Courtney in the first go- around of Divorce Party: The Musical, was fresh, fun and absolutely fabulous as the role of the tough cookie with a heart, Mrs. Wilkinson. Anytime Ms. Dickinson is on stage, she lights it up like the brightest star in the sky. Her acting and her singing didn’t feel forced; it felt authentic and raw. Ms. Dickinson is a wonder to behold and one actress that I will be keeping my eye on for sure.
The character of Michael, played by Sam Poon at my performance, was also a delight and one character that stole my heart and impacted me on a personal level. His accent was slightly thick and sounded a little muddled at times, making it difficult to understand what he was saying. He played his charisma off of Parets profoundly and they both stole the show in their show stopping number, “Expressing Yourself.”
The main settings of the story, the dance studio and the Elliot’s home, was simple and subtle. It was not the grand and magnificent scenery you see in other musicals. The special effects were minimal and used simply to enhance the scenery. There is one special lighting effect toward the end of the show that almost blinded the audience and I felt like that effect was not all that needed. The live orchestra allowed for the music to feel fresh and invigorating. I really liked how the scenes and the special effects did not distract from the story and the music.
This musical is most definitely recommended for children ages eight and up. There are some naughty curse words, however, nothing your child would not hear in a television show or a film.
Elliot is a highly energetic, electrifying masterpiece that will take hold of you from beginning to end. If you see one musical in 2013, surely make it Billy Elliot. Tickets are very limited. Please visit kravis.org or call 561-832-7469 for ticket information.