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First time Billy Eliot watcher

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South Florida
Broadway Legend
joined:5/2/08
Broadway Legend
joined:
5/2/08
First time Billy Eliot watcher#1
Posted: 1/2/21 at 6:14pm

How did N2N lose?

Stephanatic
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Call_me_jorge
Broadway Legend
joined:1/9/15
Broadway Legend
joined:
1/9/15
First time Billy Eliot watcher#2
Posted: 1/2/21 at 9:16pm

I think Billy Elliot gets a bad rap just for being up against next to normal. Both shows were great in their own right. Just like both had their faults. I think Billy Elliot edged out simply due to its splashy creative team, the pro gay and union themes, and as well being a sign the broadway community could come out of the Great Recession. Daldry, Darling, Lee, and John didn’t just do some hack of a job.

Updated On: 1/3/21 at 09:16 PM
JGPR2
Understudy
joined:2/18/17
Understudy
joined:
2/18/17
First time Billy Eliot watcher#3
Posted: 1/2/21 at 11:03pm

The dancing was superb in "Billy Elliot" especially the "Billy's". "Next To Normal" was about bi-polar woman while "Billy Elliot" was more uplifting which IMO makes it more of a commercial hit. At least "Next To Normal" won some awards and was not swept away totally by "Billy Elliot".

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Sutton Ross
Broadway Legend
joined:7/20/13
Broadway Legend
joined:
7/20/13
First time Billy Eliot watcher#4
Posted: 1/2/21 at 11:06pm

Billy Elliot was such garbage with the exception of Will Chase and the gorgeous "Swan Lake" in act two. Shocked it won over the brilliant Next To Normal

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Jordan Catalano
Broadway Legend
joined:10/9/05
Broadway Legend
joined:
10/9/05
First time Billy Eliot watcher#5
Posted: 1/2/21 at 11:43pm
“Billy Elliot” is an interesting show for me. I saw it a number of times and each time I was watching it I thought it was brilliant and then by the time I got home I had forgotten everything I just saw and didn’t even think of it for days.
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Someone in a Tree2
Broadway Legend
joined:10/9/12
Broadway Legend
joined:
10/9/12
First time Billy Eliot watcher#6
Posted: 1/3/21 at 4:52pm

BILLY ELLIOTT was the great show of the first decade of the 21st century, despite having a weirdly weak score. That moment when the girls in their tutus converged with the Bobbies in their union-busting uniforms and overlapped songs and choreography, the hairs crawled on the back of my neck and I was in musical theater heaven. The show understood how to tell a story in purely musical drama terms.

When Billy mastered the pirouette I gasped at the emotion held inside by the moment. The Act II pas-de-deux with Billy and his grownup self was among the most moving things I've ever seen onstage. The Letter song and its reprise were simple and nuanced and beautifully observed beats that earned my tears all 4 times I saw the show. Impeccable design, exhilarating dances, top-flight acting especially among the many kids. Only the score fell short for me, proving a seeming oxymoron that greatness in the musical theater really can come without the best music. Go figure.

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South Florida
Broadway Legend
joined:5/2/08
Broadway Legend
joined:
5/2/08
First time Billy Eliot watcher#7
Posted: 1/3/21 at 8:56pm

"Gabe"!  "Hi, dad"!

Stephanatic
JGPR2
Understudy
joined:2/18/17
Understudy
joined:
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Ravenclaw
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joined:9/16/17
Featured Actor
joined:
9/16/17
First time Billy Eliot watcher#9
Posted: 1/4/21 at 11:22pm

I agree with Someone In a Tree2--the original production was a triumph of staging, performance, design, and book, with a competent score. It's one of only a handful of shows to move me to tears (although I should note that Next to Normal is another one of that handful). I don't think that this really came through in the pro-shot recording, though, sadly. I think those performances were too big for the camera and the production didn't work so well in close-up as it did in the theatre. There was near-unanimous praise of the show back then--it actually lived up to the incredible hype from London.

Next to Normal was also a brilliant show, and comparing the two is like comparing apples to oranges, as they say. It did have more detractors than Billy Elliott did. And for what it's worth, I think there are some very worthwhile criticisms of the show--particularly how it really leans into how "scary" ECT is, when it has been an enormously safe and effective treatment for so many people. The plot point that the ECT makes Diana forget 16 years of her life is pretty far-fetched, and I remember many people being critical of that at the time. There are aspects of the story which require you to make small leaps which, if you take them, can be very rewarding, but not everyone was willing to take them. 

Also, at the time, if you look at the Best Musical winners of that period, typically the bigger "juggernaut" show won over the smaller "artsy" show--Spamalot over Piazza, In the Heights over Passing Strange, Memphis over Fela, etc. In the last decade, the reverse has tended to be true--Once over Newsies, Fun Home over American in Paris, The Band's Visit over Mean Girls/Spongebob, etc. Tastes and trends change. Every year, there are huge numbers of people who disagree with the award. 2009 was a particularly heated year as there were two incredibly strong and deserving musicals. Next to Normal won three Tonys and a Pulitzer and ran nearly two years, recouping its investment, which most people thought would be impossible at the time of its opening.

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South Florida
Broadway Legend
joined:5/2/08
Broadway Legend
joined:
5/2/08
First time Billy Eliot watcher#10
Posted: 1/10/21 at 5:26pm

This might piss some people off but I think Alice Ripley played the show too long.  I saw the show on tour with her in it and it was disappointing.  The role must take a lot out of actors she stayed on too long.  Hopefully I'll see Steph in that role in a remake.  I know not having seen her in the beginning of the run is probably why I missed the inspiration.  The tapes of that show on youtube suck.  You can't really appreciate her "I Miss The Mountains" unless you watch it from "The View".

 

Stephanatic
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uncageg
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joined:5/13/04
Broadway Legend
joined:
5/13/04
First time Billy Eliot watcher#11
Posted: 1/11/21 at 2:21pm

South Florida said: "This might piss some people off but I think Alice Ripley played the show too long. I saw the show on tour with her in it and it was disappointing. The role must take a lot out of actors she stayed on too long. Hopefully I'll see Steph in that role in a remake. I know not having seen her in the beginning of the run is probably why I missed the inspiration. The tapes of that show on youtube suck. You can't really appreciate her "I Miss The Mountains" unless you watch it from "The View".

I thought the same thing when I saw her do it in Denver. As much as I wanted to see her in the role, I would have been fine with someone else. Her voice was raspy and tired sounding. At points it kind of worked but it showed during "I Miss The Mountains". But all in all, I enjoyed the show.

 

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