Tuesday, April 07, 2009

Billy Elliot The Musical- Could it be 2009's Best Musical of The Year?

Right now just about every Broadway theater has a show playing. So much for many people saying Broadway was in trouble when the economy began moving downward.

Did you know that Billy Elliot is one of four shows that take in over $1 million dollars a week at the box office? Not too shabby right? Billy Elliot has been playing to thrilled audiences in New York City for over 6 months now, after premiering in London in 2005. Although I personally have seen more than a dozen or so new shows this season, I can safely say that Billy Elliot is one of the season's highlights.

Billy Elliot is a musical comedy and drama based on the emotional 2000 film of the same name. It tells the wonderfully warm tale of a young, poor "working-class" youngster who unlike most of his peers that simply do what their parents tell them to-decides to follow his passion for ballet dancing. Of course Billy's desire to become a professional dancer meets with "challenges". His family is feeling tremendous pressure from a coal miners strike in England and although his own family is against Billy's dreams, the friends and neighbors of the local town where they live play a big part in seeing if "Billy" can achieve his unique desires.

Billy Elliot The Musical has four actors all alternating in the role of Billy Elliot, played by David Alvarez, Trent Kowalik, Kiril Kulish,and Tommy Batchelor. One of my favorite actors-Gregory Jbara, plays Billy's father and Haydn Gwynne plays Mrs. Wilkinson, his ballet teacher. Carole Shelley plays the young man's grandmother as well. A terrific supporting ensemble cast makes this show some of the very best theater I have ever witnessed in my life.

Billy Elliot has a fantastic book and lyrics by Lee Hall with music by Elton John. Direction is by Stephen Daldry with choreography by Peter Darling. This creative team is among the finest in the theater,film and music industry.

The show is 2 hours and 50 minutes with one intermission and performs every day except for Monday's. It plays at the Imperial Theater on 45th street, between Broadway and 8th Avenue in Broadway's theater district.

I would like to remind readers that Billy Elliot The Musical has received some of the best New York City theater reviews in many years. For example, The New York Times said Billy Elliot is "intoxicating" and is a "joyous, exciting and feel-good celebration of one boy following his heart and making his dreams come true". Time Out New York magazine called Billy Elliot "extraordinarily uplifting". I would whole-heatedly agree theater friends. This show is a must see. In fact, I saw it three times already, each time with a different young actor in the role of Billy Eliot. Pretty neat stuff right?

Most of my friends and people I work with know I usually say good things about most of the theater I take in but there is always a show or two that I can look back upon and remember that it had something "extra special" to offer. I like to feel things when I am in the theater, feel for the actor or the character that is being portrayed. Or even experience some emotion when listening to one of the great Elton John songs. Sitting in the audience at a Billy Elliot performance, I can pretty much guarantee that you, too will feel for the characters as well.

The Tony Award nominations for excellence in the theater will be announced in early May 2009 and I expect that Billy Elliot will lead the pack with a share of these much coveted potential awards. I've seen allot of theater this year and its always hard to pick a winner but for my money, Billy Elliot ranks high as any other musical this season to walk away with the 2009Best Musical Tony Award.

I'll keep my fingers crossed for Billy Elliot. Meanwhile if you think you might want to see this show, you can call Applause Theater Service in New York City, a local Broadway ticket agency, licensed by the New York State Division of Licensing. Applause is open seven days weekly and can be reached at their local New York City number 212-307-7050 or toll free at 800-451-9930.

If you need to know about other Broadway Shows, you can consult our up-to-date Broadway Show listing or contact one of Applause's friendly ticket experts to talk about theater. Maybe you would like a great restaurant suggestion or two, we can suggest many that we, ourselves go to after work and before attending Broadway plays.

Let's hear it for Billy Elliot. My personal pick to snag some special Tony Awards in 2009.

We hope to hear from interested Broadway theater fans soon.

Rich Gladstone
Applause Theater Service
311 West 43rd Street, suite 601
NY,NY 10036
local phone 212-307-7050
toll free 800-451-9930
web site

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