Caught up in the midst of a miners’ strike in the 1980s, Billy Elliot watches as his father and brother struggle to stay calm as their union looses power. Billy has recently lost his mom and it’s not until he unexpectedly finds himself in the midst of a ballet class that he finds a place where he can shine.
The brassy ballet instructor, played by Janet Dickinson, and her strange group of misfit students provide a strange new home for Billy. He soon finds that he must choose between pursuing his dreams and following in his father’s footsteps.
The lead role is played by multiple boys in each touring show. The performance I saw in Louisville featured Ty Forhan as Billy. He is an incredibly gifted dancer. His Grandma, played by Patti Perkins, is a pip and the Dad (Rich Herbert) provides just the right balance of machismo and fatherly love. The rest of the cast embraces the thick working-class British accents and ‘80s wardrobe taking the audience to another world for the duration of the show.
The plot is surprisingly intense. Tensions run high when a man’s livelihood is a stake, but the show finds a quieter tone in the second act and focuses on the characters’ relationships. The dual ballet number is particularly spectacular and was the most breath-taking element in the production. Combine that with the fancy footwork in Solidarity and a tap dancing number featuring jump ropes and the musical provides some great original numbers.
Don't Miss the Show
The show will run from November 13-18, 2012 at Old National Centre (formerly the Murat Theatre) so make your plans now. Tickets can be purchased at Clowes Memorial Hall, Old National Centre, by calling (800)-982-2787 or online at www.broadwayacrossamerica.com. Shows begin at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, 8 p.m. Friday, 2 p.m. and 8 p.m. Saturday and 1 p.m. and 6:30 p.m. Sunday.
Photos Courtesy of Broadway Across America