"Flying like a bird. Like electricity."
BILLY ELLIOT THE MUSICAL
What it's about ... based on the 2000 film and with music by Elton John and book and lyrics by Lee Hall ... as everyone in a small mining community in Northeastern England faces a protracted and hostile strike, a boy discovers a passion for dance and against his father's wishes, trains for an audition at the Royal Ballet School.
Lots of firsts ... the first production of Porchlight Music Theatre's 23rd season in their new home at Ruth Page Center for the Arts with the largest cast ever in company history. This is a big, bold move for one of Chicago’s most ambitious musical theatre companies. If Billy Elliot is any indication of what is to come, the future is very bright indeed for the organization headed by Artistic Director Michael Weber and Executive Director Jeannie Lukow.
What stands out ... director and choreographer Brenda Didier has assembled an exceptional cast of talented kids, headed by newcomer Lincoln Seymour in the title role (alternating with Jacob Kaiser), whose enthusiasm and presence explodes off the stage. The joy that exudes from all that energy is infectious.
Who to watch for ... Shanésia Davis is perfect in the role of Mrs. Wilkinson … Sean Fortunato (Dad) ... Iris Lieberman (Grandma) … Adam Fane (Tony Elliot) … Peyton Owen is an engaging Michael ... Nicole Cready (Mum) … along with the supporting cast of miners, merrymakers and dance students who keep this show on its toes.
What to wait for ... Davis 'Shine' ... Lieberman 'Grandma's Song' ... Owen and Seymour 'Expressing Yourself'... the Ensemble 'Merry Christmas Maggie Thatcher' ... Seymour 'Electricity'
The takeaway ... hold on for the big finish. It’s a wow!
Photo Credit: Michael Courier
Video Courtesy of Porchlight Music Theatre