18 January 2012 ~ 4 Comments

Date Night With Billy Elliot

Last night my husband and I had the chance to see Billy Elliot the Musical at the Aronoff Center downtown.  Working in the arts, I have a slight obsession with theatre, and musical theatre in particular.

I went into it not really knowing much about the show, other than it had received a Tony Award or two and that Elton John wrote the score.  Wow, was there so much more to know.

Billy Elliot The Musical is a touching story about a young boy, growing up in England during the miner’s strike in the 1980s. While Billy’s father and brother want him to focus on boxing as a hobby, by chance he ends up attending a ballet class where he soon discovers he has a hidden talent for the craft. Throughout the show you experience a range of emotions, from laughing at the silliness of numbers like “Express Yourself,” and “Merry Christmas Maggie Thatcher,” to tears during the song, “Dear Billy.”

While all of the actors are amazing, I was particular fond of the performances by  Kylend Hetherington, the young actor who played the role of Billy, Ben Cook, the actor who played his quirky best friend Michael, Rich Hebert (Dad) and Leah Hocking who played the fabulous role of Mrs. Wilkinson, the ballet instructor.


Here’s how promoters describe the show:

Based on the Academy Award nominated 2000 film of the same title, Billy Elliot is the story of its namesake star, a young boy in a depressed working-class mining town in the North of England. Set during the history-making 1984 miner’s strike, the show follows Billy, the youngest child of a blue-collar family that has recently lost its Mum, as he discovers his unlikely and extraordinary gift for ballet. While Billy’s father and brother take to the picket lines of the violent and life-changing strike, Billy secretly begins to study the art of dance with the help of a hard-drinking, chain-smoking local dance teacher. But as Billy blossoms and thrives, the world and lives around him continues to wither—and his only escape may be the prestigious Royal Ballet School, a place no working-class boy has ever gone, or been allowed to go to, before.

Billy Elliot is brought to life by a phenomenal cast and the Tony Award-winning creative team (director Stephen Daldry, choreographer Peter Darling and writer Lee Hall) along with music legend Elton John, who has written what the New York Post calls “his best score yet!”

I would recommend seeing Billy Elliot the Musical – it was a roller coaster of a ride emotionally, but inspiring. If you are thinking of taking the kids, please note that there is a LOT of swearing in the show (much of which comes from the mouths of the children).  While it’s nothing you wouldn’t hear on Showtime or HBO  (Piss Off, etc.), I probably would limit it to teens and up.

Billy Elliot the Musical is playing at the Aronoff through January 29th.  Click here for information on getting tickets.


Thank you to organizers with Broadway Across America for providing me with a pair of tickets to see Billy Elliot the Musical. It’s an experience I’ll remember for years to come. Photos courtesy of the Billy Elliot The Musical website.

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4 Responses to “Date Night With Billy Elliot”

  1. Michelle 18 January 2012 at 11:51 am Permalink

    Would love to see this! Can you believe I have not even seen the movie?! Sounds like a fantastic show!
    Michelle´s last [type] ..Menu Plan Monday

  2. porschesrule 18 January 2012 at 12:40 pm Permalink

    Great review of a great show.

    For the record, though, Cynthia Darlow currently plays the role of Grandma, not Patti Perkins (who was the original tour Grandma). Cynthia originated the role in the Chicago/Toronto productions of the show before joining the tour cast.

    Thanks for sharing your thoughts on the show.

  3. Shannan 18 January 2012 at 1:41 pm Permalink

    THANK YOU For that update. I will correct it in the post. Cynthia made me laugh so hard during her number about her deceased husband. She has a knack for slapstick type humor.

  4. Chuck Honkomp 21 January 2012 at 6:31 pm Permalink

    Did you see the same show as I did? It was the worse broadway show I have ever seen,,, by a long shot.

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