Monday, October 26, 2015
Today I am grateful for “Billy Elliot, The Musical”. I saw the movie a billion years ago at a film festival and fell in love with the story, the music and the dancing. One of my kids got me the DVD for Christmas on year. The budget won’t allow a Broadway show these days, so I never got to see what was done to this show when Elton John got involved and it went “live”.
Then, while trolling channels the other day, and already a half-an-hour into it, I stumbled upon the London production at the Victoria Palace Theater, starring Elliot Hanna in the title role, (his first show EVER) so I quickly recorded it. And now I’ve watched it. Wow! Wow! Wow!
There were story-construction changes, which is expected when something moves from screen to stage, but each worked beautifully. I love any kind of dancing, but. . .ballet. . .oh my. . .ballet has my heart. It is just so beautiful. The pointed toes; the long, graceful arms; the straight backs and gazelle-like leaps. . .it all just sweeps me away. I get so physically and emotionally involved I swear my muscles ache.
By the time the “older” Billy did the number with “younger” Billy, to “Swan Lake”, no less. . . I was a blubbering mess. I felt as though I was watching a magical transformation of a dream come true. Maybe even MY dream come true. . .which is what great theater does to you if you let it. It was just fantastic. . .graceful and flowing and liquid. . . like waves lapping ashore on a calm day. Brilliant. There simply aren’t enough adjectives.
“All you really gotta do is shine!” is my favorite line from the show. I love that. Isn’t that all any of us has to do? Just Shine! We don’t have to be the thinnest, the tallest, the most talented, the prettiest, the wealthiest. . .we just have to shine! I’m glad to be reminded of that by “Billy Elliot, The Musical.” Please try and see it. Both the original film and theater productions are worth every second of your time. Then get out the Ben Gay!