Billy Elliot: The Musical Live
Billy Elliot: The Musical Live
R | 28 September 2014 (USA)
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In County Durham, England, 1984, a talented young dancer, Billy Elliot, stumbles out of the boxing ring and onto the ballet floor. He faces many trials and triumphs as he strives to conquer his family’s set ways, inner conflict, and standing on his toes in a musical that questions masculinity, gender norms and conformity.

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To me, this movie is perfection.

Bluebell Alcock

Ok... Let's be honest. It cannot be the best movie but is quite enjoyable. The movie has the potential to develop a great plot for future movies

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Sameer Callahan

It really made me laugh, but for some moments I was tearing up because I could relate so much.

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By the time the dramatic fireworks start popping off, each one feels earned.

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The story of this musical is wonderful, and I know many people who need to see a story like this. Well done! Bravo!

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Seeing this musical makes me incredibly sad, why? Because I never got the opportunity to see the amazingly skilled and talented dancers portraying Billy Elliot live! I never got the chance to see this specific performance in theaters either. Let me say this: Billy Elliot is so much more than a SPECTACULAR show!The first time I watched this performance, I couldn't help but believe every single moment, making it even more impressive since it was a live performance, and there were no second takes. Elliott Hanna, oh my goodness, this guy was born to be a star! He was 11 when playing Billy here! And he is perfect! His smile is so genuine, his personality is so love-able, and don't even get me started on his dancing. I'll just say this, Elliott is going places! The other members of this cast are just as brilliant, including Ruthie Henshall (Fantine from the 10th anniversary of Les Misérables) as Mrs. Wilkinson, Deka Walmsley as Jackie Elliott, Chris Grahamson as Tony Elliott, Liam Mower (one of the ORIGINAL Billy's), Zach Atkinson (AMAZING) as Michael, and Ann Emery as Billy's Grandma (HILARIOUS). This musical take on the just as touching 2000 film really brings Billy's dreams to life through the brilliance of Elton John's music; You truly root for the characters, you feel for Billy during "Angry Dance" and feel his passion in "Electricity." You also feel Jackie's pain during "Deep Into the Ground." I still cannot believe this was a filmed live show, and of course I'm envious of everyone who was able to see it! There's so much happiness, sadness, excitement, and hilarity that's so perfect in this show. And also, the finale of this show seriously took my breath away from excitement! The original masterful Billy's: Liam Mower, George Maguire, and James Lomas appear along with the other magnificent Billy's: Scott McKenzie, Aaron Watson, Rhys Yeomans, Tom Holland (Peter Parker/Spider- Man in Spider-Man: Homecoming), Ollie Gardner, Fox Jackson-Keen, Ryan Collinson, Matthew Koon, Josh Fedrick, Kaine Ward, Dean McCarthy, Layton Williams, Harris Beattie, Harrison Dowzell, Josh Baker, Leon Cooke, Redmand Rance, Ali Rasul, Ollie Joachim, and Matteo Zecca! These guys will literally make you jump for joy as you cheer them on, they really know how to fly, literally!!!!!!!!!!!!!Hands down, one of the best Broadway shows ever, it will transform your bad day into a good one, and you will wish you took ballet after you watch it!

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Nick Cannon

What an incredible ten year run coming to a close April 9th, 2016. From a man who never wrote songs combined with a man who embraces the production of fine art through any medium as collection of ideas and abilities. This movie is an epic example of how a decade of work can shine. Elliott, and every Billy, brought with them very little skill for this monstrosity of a role. What were you doing at 12? The stage, music, lighting, and fiery audience gives you a feel as if your a drone buzzing about the airspace of the Victoria Palace Theatre. There is not a character you wont be able to connect with. A tasteful buffet of all dance styles. Grab a box of Kleenex. Have watched it more than ten times now. Includes bonus performance. If you can't get to London get it to your TV.

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When Elton John re-created Billy's story to a musical in 2005, it garnered countless awards and recognition in the world of stage. The adaptation continued to run in London, the US, and Canada to universal acclaim. In 2010, it even had its first non-English language production which premiered in Seoul, with a young Korean playing the coveted role of Billy.Much can be said of the talent of its lead. Elliot Hanna as the central character is a total performer. He re-creates Billy on stage and gives the character a new face and a new form. In him, we see a more passionate Billy. He dances like a professional, and executes almost- perfect pirouettes. He has the soul of an actor worthy of an Olivier, a protégé ready to face bigger audiences and bow at their applause. But Hanna is at his best in the more sentimental scenes. I particularly like the part when he lets Mrs. Wilkinson (Ruthie Henshall) read her mother's letter (Mum's Letter) in preparation for a dance routine. In the scene, Billy's mom enters the stage to sing with him and Mrs. Wilkinson. Here, Hanna poignantly shows Billy's deep longing for a mother. His misty-eyed nuances crawl over the screen and onto the stage, overpowering the lyrics and Elton John's music. Here is a Billy who exhibits a complex core we hadn't seen before. It's a phenomenon on stage that is worth more than a second look.The supporting actors are scary, yet colorful. Henshall as Sandra Wilkinson is unexpectedly jolly, connected and engaged. At some point, one may think that she may pass as Billy's second mum. I just get a bit worried whenever she puffs half a cigarette after a total cardio-vascular performance. No wonder she gets tired that easily. But that's her lungs. Deka Walmsley as Jackie Elliot is superb. He is the same Daddy Elliot that we know, and he enchants the audience the same way Gary Lewis enthralls us in his performance of the original role. Like Lewis in the film, Walmsley's best scenes are those that examine his emotional dilemmas; how his heart chooses his love for his sons over everything else. Chris Grahamson is the love-you-hate-you Tony Elliot. His presence fills the stage, and his looks are undeniably priceless. He slowly matures on stage, and the audience loves him for that. Worthy to mention is Ann Emery's performance of Grandma. Her energy covers most of her scenes with gusto. Hall, who also wrote the story for the stage adaptation, gives the role a deeper back story, bringing Billy's Grandma somehow closer to the audience.The problem lies, however, in its execution. It exaggerates a simple plot and borders to almost being contrived. The music, though done with good intentions, stretches the plot to an unbearable pace, making one wonder if it is all worth it. Most of the dialogues maintain the same feel of the movie. The swearing and shouting never seem to stop. Though it's understandable that the excessive use of swear words throughout the story establishes a carefree culture of the working class, the stage adaptation fails miserably in justifying such conviction. It was all an empty-headed quack; a frail attempt to fill between the lines.Musical-Michael (Zach Atkinson), Billy's best friend and confidant, is much more flamboyant. While on the other hand, the film-Michael has a deeper back story and a more complicated personal dilemma. Much can even be said about his quiet love. His final shot in the film, after Billy kisses him goodbye, is a cinematic moment where, at one point or the other, we see ourselves. This shift from the original character, for the purposes of can-can entertainment, dismisses the beauty of his graceful silence in the film.Further, the Revolution in the film is just a background juxtaposed to Billy's ballet dreams. It intensifies his passion and clearly presents an ironic stance on civility and disorder. However, the adaptation tries to balance Billy's journey and the Miner's Strike. Though noble, it demagnifies the score of its central character. It lessens Billy's goal as it levels with the unclear stance on a revolution that is already too passionate to a fault. As a result, its original simplicity turns bitterly over-complicated, confused and clouded.Billy Elliot the Musical Live! revolves around the same familiar plot. It attempts to forge the same deep emotional journey of the film that made millions cry. It's triumphant at times. Somewhat memorable, even. But at some point, it gives off a shallower exposition. It may have big production numbers, well executed pirouettes, and dazzling choreographies, but it misses the heart of the original. Had it not been for the cast's breathtaking talent and Director Stephen Daldry's ambitious attempt to re-create a feel-good classic, this stage adaptation would have been amiss.

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