The film, Billy Elliot, starring Jamie Bell, is the story of a young boy who struggles with his love of dancing and ballet, and his family's struggle with a miner's strike. The film was released in 2000. In 2005 the musical version of the film was released. The music was written by Sir Elton John. The musical won ten Tony Awards, and was nominated for fifteen.
Currently, Billy Elliot: The Musical is touring and is stopped at The Oven's Auditorium in Charlotte. Some of the cast members are from the original Broadway production. The show promises and delivers great dance numbers and fantastic songs, especially "Electricity" which is in the second act. The whole cast is brilliant and talented. The young children performers are adorable. They have great energy and put on a great show. The same is true for the sets, lighting, and some special effects. The choreography is well done, and parallels many of the dance scenes from the film.
Billy Elliot: The Musical is broken into two acts, both of which start suddenly with actors breaking the fourth wall and interacting with the audience. The beauty of the story of Billy Elliot is that it showcases how the arts, specifically ballet, are important to suffering society. Also, the story of Billy Elliot isn't just about a young boy's love of dance, it's also about a small mining town suffering through a strike and a bad economy.
While the film is more layered than film, partly because the characters don't break into song, and partly because the film genre allows for a deeper exploration, the musical doesn't ignore the layers, only spends less time with them. The adaptation is well done, and also gives other characters the opportunity to shine.
Billy Elliot: The Musical has many stars. One surprise star was the character of Michael, Billy's best friend. His role in the film is nearly mute, but in the musical his character is given almost all of the humorous lines, and an incredible song and dance number. As is in the film, the character of Mrs. Wilkinson, has the potential to steal the show.
Even if audience members have not seen the film, Billy Elliot: The Musical is a wonderful night out in Charlotte. Ticket prices start at 30 dollars. Tickets are still readily available. Billy Elliot: The Musical is running until January 30th. Please check out the North Carolina Blumenthal Performance Arts Center for ticket information.