BWW Reviews: BILLY ELLIOT Pirouettes with Stunning Grace at the Ordway

October 11
6:20 AM 2012


Don't miss the short-run production of Billy Elliot, as its electric, razzle-dazzle spirit leaps and soars across St. Paul's ORDWAY CENTER stage.

The Elton John musical, winner of multiple Tony Awards, exceeds expectations with an all-star cast, including the mesmerizing performance of thirteen-year-old, Noah Parets, playing the part of Billy on Tuesday's performance (the role will be alternated among Parets, Ben Cook, Kylend Hetherington, and Zach Manske). While his acting is at times rough and slightly forced, his performance grows with Billy as his endearing and charmingly innocent stage presence is juxtaposed by the fluidity and professionalism of his dancing.

The show, based on the 2000 movie of the same title, is a story of union solidarity and personal triumph during Margaret Thatcher's political opposition to the state-owned coal industry. Billy, the son of a coal miner, realizes his born talent for dance during an ill-fated boxing lesson, much to the upset of his father (Rich Hebert). So, Billy wanders into the ballet class of Mrs. Wilkinson (Janet Dickinson) who teaches him to refine his talent, "turn on the old pizzazz," and audition for the Royal Ballet. While the unions succumb to the Iron Lady's conservative agenda, the community maintains solidarity by supporting the dream of one. Through colorful, upbeat dance numbers with his cross-dressing friend, Michael (Jake Kitchin); a gracefully beautiful dream sequence; and electric clashes between the union and police forces, Billy Elliot dances into theatergoers' hearts.

Equally deserving of recognition is Patti Perkins, whose sarcastic, tell-it-as-it-is humor as Billy's grandmother adds the adult comedic flair to the production. Last but not least is the accomplished and highly stylized choreography, providing the breadth to the show. Choreographer, Peter Darling's innovative and diversified ballet and tap movements had audience members on The Edge of their seats, jumping to a standing ovation at curtain fall.

Billy Elliot runs from a limited time only. Catch it at the ORDWAY before Oct. 14.

Photo Credit: Ordway Center for the Performing Arts

St. Paul THEATER Stories | Shows

About the Author

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Kristin Frosch Kristin Frosch’s writing has appeared in Volume One Magazine (Eau Claire, WI) and Broadway Magazine. While earning her B.A. in English from the University of Wisconsin- Eau Claire, she was a grant writer for the Eau Claire Municipal Band, a copy-editor for The Feminist Teacher, and editor of the campus newsletter, The Afterword. While publishing theater previews in her university’s newspaper, The Spectator, Kristin discovered that writing that would allow her to embrace, shape, and support her many interests in the arts. By continuing to work as an arts journalist, Kristin hopes to help preserve the diversity of artistic initiative and expression.


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