My Editor and I have seen a lot of Broadway, and for the most part we’re usually on the same page with what we like.
So last night at Billy Elliot I was shocked to find out at intermission that he was in love with the show all while I was left feeling the complete opposite.
With such strong differences, I decided to have us both write a small blurb of our opinions on the show.
At the end of the day, you can’t please everyone and that’s what happened in the case of Billy Elliot!
Mr. Fab says:
From the less than exciting opening, the performance was unable to grab my attention right from the start. The over acting, the incomprehensible ‘Geordie’ dialect and the boring score made the show a chore to watch.
I found the 3 hour show filled with long dramatic pauses followed by embarrassing slap schtick punch lines cringe-worthy; many times I waited for the slide whistle or rim-shot sound effect to finish the ‘zinger’.
The only saving grace to the entire evening was Janet Dickinson who played the role of Mrs. Wilkinson. A well-developed actor with a delightful voice, she was the only one having me buy into any of the story.
I have always dreamt of being a ballet dancer AND a Broadway Baby, so Billy Elliot should have been an easy sell for me… sadly it fell very short.
I was a little skeptical at the beginning, but early in the first act Billy has a scene with his grandmother that won me over – “We’d Go Dancing”. From then on, they could do no wrong… Now bear with me as I might not know the proper terminology, but here goes.
I loved the set design, and the way they used the space: the sets were relatively simple, but the arrangement and lighting led to a really dynamic stage.
I loved the choreography. At times it seemed as though the cast was serving as another piece of the set. There were some very interesting things that were done with the ensemble specifically, through movement and multiple story lines being advanced simultaneously.
Speaking of choreography, what were you doing when you were twelve? Touring with a Broadway show?…. Yeah, me neither: the kids in the show were great.
The story itself I found quite engaging; I too felt a connection to the Mrs. Wilkinson character, and got a little choked up more than once.
All in all, I think Broadway is amazing because there is something for everyone, and I am so happy to have seen this production!
So now it’s up to you to forge your own opinion.
Theatre is an art and as such it will always be “different strokes for different folks”!
Billy Elliot plays the Southern Alberta Jubilee Auditorium until March 31, 2013.
Thank you so much for the very generous invite Broadway Across Canada!
Mr. Fab & Editor