Billy Elliot — Broadway

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Billy Elliot — Expressing Yourself — Broadway musical show YouTube video preview.

What: Billy Elliot Show
How Long:
2hrs, 30mins.
(1 Intermission)
Average Weekly Schedule:

Billy Elliot the Broadway musical show is a musical based on the 2000 film Billy Elliot. The music is by Sir Elton John, and book and lyrics are by Lee Hall, who wrote the film's screenplay. The plot revolves around motherless Billy, who trades boxing gloves for ballet shoes. The story of his personal struggle and fulfillment are balanced against a counter-story of family and community strife caused by the UK miners' strike (1984–1985) in County Durham, in Northern England. Hall's screenplay was inspired in part by A. J. Cronin's novel, The Stars Look Down, to which the musical's opening song pays homage.
The musical premiered in London's West End in 2005 and was nominated for nine Laurence Olivier Awards, winning four including Best New Musical. The Broadway Billy Elliot musical show production is still running strongly, and its success led to productions in Australia, on Broadway and elsewhere. In New York, it won ten Tony Awards and ten Drama Desk Awards, including, in each case, best musical. It has also won numerous awards in Australia including a record-tying seven Helpmann Awards.

The Broadway Billy Elliot musical show production opened at the Imperial Theatre on 1 October 2008 in previews and officially on 13 November 2008. The London production's creative team directed and designed the Broadway production. The Broadway Billy Elliot musical show title role was rotated among three young actors, David Álvarez, Kiril Kulish and Trent Kowalik, the last of whom had played the role in London. The supporting cast included Haydn Gwynne, reprising her role of Mrs. Wilkinson from the London production, and Gregory Jbara as Billy's father. The production received rave reviews: Time called it a "triumph"; critic Liz Smith termed it "breathtakingly brilliant" and "absolutely, unequivocally awesome"; the Daily News said it was "so exhilarating that at times you feel like leaping"; the New York Post said it was "almost like being in love" and termed it "amusing, perfect and passionate" and "the best show you will ever see"; and the Los Angeles Times called it a "global theatrical phenomenon". It has also been very financially successful, with $20 million taken in advance ticket sales. The production received fifteen Tony Award nominations, tying with The Producers for the most nominations ever received by a Broadway show, and winning ten. The original three boys in the lead role jointly won a Tony Award for Best Leading Actor in a Musical. The production recouped its original investment of $18 million in 14 months and, as of 2010, continues to sell strongly.

Broadway Billy Elliot musical show Act 1:
In County Durham, during the 1984-85 coal miners' strike ("The Stars Look Down"), motherless eleven-year-old Billy inadvertently finds his way out of his boxing practice and as the only boy in a ballet class run by Mrs. Wilkinson and becomes attracted to the grace of the dance ("Shine"). While his brother, father and neighbours are on strike and clash with riot police, he continues to take dance lessons, keeping it a secret from his family. The secret is at first easily kept, as the only person home at the time is his grandmother ("Grandma's Song"). Billy forms a friendship with Mrs. Wilkinson’s daughter Debbie.
The boxing coach informs Billy's dad that the boy hasn't been to practice in months, and Mr. Elliot erupts, realising Billy has spent the money he gave his son for boxing on something else ("Solidarity"). When he discovers where his son has been, he storms into the ballet class and forbids Billy from attending and Mrs. Wilkinson, who is supportive of the boy, from teaching him. Mrs. Wilkinson, recognising Billy's talent, privately suggests he come to the studio for free solo lessons, and he improves to a level beyond that of the rest of the class. Eventually, she encourages him to audition for the Royal Ballet School in London. Billy's best friend Michael is beginning to grasp he is homosexual. He persuades Billy to have fun with him by dressing up in women's clothing and disdaining the restrictive inhibitions of their working class community ("Expressing Yourself"). Billy continues to take private ballet lessons, bonding with Mrs. Wilkinson and developing an impressive routine for his audition ("Dear Billy (Mum's Letter)/Born to Boogie"). Meanwhile, Billy's father and brother Tony are engaged in daily battles with riot police that often turn bloody. They struggle to support the family with very little in strike and union pay, a difficult task that goes on for nearly a year.
When the day of the Royal Ballet School audition comes, Mrs. Wilkinson arrives to pick up Billy. However, his family and some members of the community have gathered at the Elliot home, and she is forced to reveal that she has been teaching Billy ballet in preparation for this very day. This news upsets Billy’s father and Tony, who pushes the boy around, calls him names and embarrasses him in front of everyone. This setback sends Billy into a rage, and for nearly a year he stays away from everything related to ballet ("Angry Dance").
Act II
At Christmas time in the community centre, the children put on a show disparaging Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher, who is seen as the antagonist by the coal miners ("Merry Christmas, Maggie Thatcher"). Billy's father gets drunk and sings an old folk song that elicits memories of his deceased wife and the usually stoic man leaves in tears ("Deep Into the Ground"). Left alone with Billy in the Community Centre, Michael reveals he has feelings for him, but Billy explains that although he likes ballet, he is not gay. Nonetheless, he lets Michael give him a kiss on the cheek. Michael leaves, and Billy feels like dancing for the first time since the day of the aborted audition ("Swan Lake"). From the door, his father watches Billy's dance routine and, overcome with emotion, he goes to Mrs. Wilkinson’s house to discuss Billy’s prospects as a dancer. She confirms Billy's talent, but is not sure whether or not he would get into the Royal Ballet School. They discuss the cost of tuition, an amount well beyond Mr. Elliot's means. He leaves questioning his working-class pride and the future mining has for his boys.
Mr. Elliot decides the only way to help Billy is to return to work. When Tony sees his father cross the picket line, he becomes infuriated and the two argue over what is more important: unity of the miners or helping Billy achieve his dream ("He Could Go and He Could Shine"). The argument eventually comes to blows and Billy is hit accidentally. One by one, the miners side with Billy's quest and offer the boy their strike pay, but Billy still can’t afford the bus fare to London. A strike-breaker offers him hundreds of pounds from his wage, and an enraged Tony attempts to shun his efforts, but Billy accepts nonetheless. Now drained of hope, Tony dismally ponders whether there's a point for anything anymore, and runs off.
Billy and his father arrive at the Royal Ballet School for the audition. While Mr. Elliot waits outside, an upper-crust Londoner highlights the contrast between the Elliots and the families of the other applicants. Mr. Elliot meets a dancer with a thick Northern accent. The dancer confesses that his father does not support his ballet career. He sharply advises Mr. Elliot to "get behind" his boy. Billy nervously finishes the audition with a sinking feeling that he did not do well. As he packs his gear, he lets that emotion overwhelm him, and he punches another auditioner in the face. The audition committee reminds Billy of the strict standards of the school. They have received an enthusiastic letter from Mrs. Wilkinson explaining Billy's background and situation, and they ask him to describe what he feels when he dances. Billy responds with a heartfelt declaration of his passion ("Electricity").
Back in Durham, the Elliots resume life as usual. Billy receives a letter from the school and, as a joke, informs everyone he wasn't accepted. Tony retrieves the letter from the waste bin and discovers that his brother was accepted. At the same time, the miners have decided to return to work resigned to the fact they are a part of a dying industry and a withering community, but take comfort that Billy at least will rise from the ashes to greatness. Billy says goodbye to the miners ("Once We Were Kings"), Mrs. Wilkinson (thanking her for everything she did to help him) and Debbie, who will miss him ("Dear Billy (Billy's Reply)"). Michael arrives to say goodbye, and Billy gives him a friendly kiss on the cheek ("Finale"), leaving the past behind him and his bright future ahead of him.

Broadway Billy Elliot musical show Musical numbers
Act 2:
The Stars Look Down - Company
Shine - Ballet Girls, Mrs. Wilkinson & Mr Braithwaite
Grandma's song - Grandma
Solidarity - Ballet Girls, Billy, Mrs. Wilkinson, Miners & Police
Expressing Yourself - Billy, Michael, and Ensemble
The Letter (Mum's Letter) - Mrs. Wilkinson, Mum and Billy
Born to Boogie - Mrs. Wilkinson, Billy, and Mr. Braithwaite
Angry Dance -Billy & Male Ensemble
Act II
Merry Christmas, Maggie Thatcher - Tony and Partiers (USA productions-George, Billy/Michael/Tall Boy/Small Boy, Ballet Girls & Adult Cast)
Deep Into the Ground - Jackie
Swan Lake - Billy and Billy Older Self
He Could be a Star (He Could Go and He Could Shine - USA) - Jackie and Tony
Electricity - Billy
Once We Were Kings - Company
The Letter - Reprise(Billy's Reply) - Mum and Billy
Finale - Company

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