Reviewed by Paula Citron
Billy Elliot, The Musical
Music by Elton John
Book and lyrics by Lee Hall
Directed by Stephen Daldry
Choreographed by Peter Darling
Featuring Marcus Pei, Kate Hennig. Armand Schultz, Cynthia Darlow, Patrick Mulvey and Jack Broderick
Production opened on Mar. 1, 2011
Billy Elliot, The Musical has everything going for it. Since this is about a wannabe dancer, the choreography better be superior, and thanks to Peter Darling, it is.
Every Elton John tune is absolutely hummable. My one regret is that some of Lee Hall’s clever lyrics are obscured by north of England accents.
Stephen Daldry’s direction is very innovative, and there are wonderful ensemble numbers in the most surprising places.
There is tremendous enthusiasm and commitment on the part of the cast, who look like real people and not a chorus line.
My Billy was 13-year-old Marcus Pei, and he was terrific. Whoever is playing Billy carries the show, which is astonishing. Pei had real chemistry with Armand Schultz as his father, and particularly Kate Hennig as Mrs. Wilkinson.
The only lapse in taste is the portrayal of the upper crusts as blithering stereotypes. Other than that, this show is an absolute winner.
Billy Elliot, The Musical continues at the Canon Theatre.