A Night at the Theater….Billy Elliot

Drew Minard's Billy Elliot showcased his incredible dancing skills in the Elton John-Lee Hall musical.

Drew Minard’s Billy Elliot showcases his incredible dancing skills in the Elton John-Lee Hall musical.

By: Jacob Elyachar

One of Broadway’s best musicals in the last decade has taken Kansas City by storm.

Billy Elliot is based on the 2000 Stephen Daldry/Lee Hall British drama that focuses on a young boy who finds passion in dance as he struggles to earn his father’s approval while dealing with his family’s strife during the mid-1980s miners’ strike in the United Kingdom.

This two-hour and 50-minute musical is an outstanding show that showcases some of the brightest rising talents in the industry.

Each performance of Billy Elliot will be different because the show rotates their lead to four different boys: Drew Minard, Ben Cook, Noah Parets and Mitchell Tobin.

Last night’s audience at the Music Hall was treated to an amazing performance by Drew Minard.    Minard had a great vocal performance that was showcased in “Born to Boogie,”  “Expressing Yourself” and “Electricity,” but it was his impeccable dancing skills that was showcased through his solos in “Angry Dance,” “Electricity” and his duet with Older Billy (Christopher M. Howard) that stunned and delighted the audience.

But Minard was not the only young performer that shined.  Jake Kitchin successfully delivered an over-the-top performance as Billy’s best friend, Michael, while Samantha Blaire Cutler’s Debbie showed off her splendid dance skills while trying to flirt with Billy.

Other standout performers in the cast included Janet Dickinson as Billy’s dance teacher Mrs. Wilkinson, Patti Perkins as Billy’s Grandma and Rich Herbert, who portrayed Billy’s dad: Jackie Elliot.

The audience will experience high-class production numbers that are sprinkled throughout the show.   Billy Elliot’s touring company successfully interpreted Peter Darling’s incredible choreography and made musical numbers including “Solidarity” and “Merry Christmas, Maggie Thatcher” highlights of the evening.

One final crucial element to the show was its score by Elton John and lyrics by Lee Hall.   The duo delivered a combination of strong up-tempo and meaningful heartbreaking ballads that are sprinkled throughout the musical.

Final thoughts and grade: Billy Elliot is an excellent theatrical experience that should not be missed.  The show will make audience members laugh, cry and cheer but will make everyone dance in their seats.  A

For more information about the tour, visit the show’s website: http://www.billyelliottour.com/us-tour

To learn more about the Theater League of Kansas City, visit their website: http://theaterleague.com/kansascity/

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Copyright 2015 Jacob Elyachar