Last Sunday, Billy Elliot closed on Broadway. This particular show’s closing struck me harder than most. I feel like Billy Elliot truly closed before it’s time. It was an inspring, captivating, entertaining musical full of depth, laughter, and heart. The children were both talented and adorable. So many elements of this show connected with audiences and kept them coming back for more. Nonetheless, for financial reasons, the show closed.
Thankfully, there are still international and touring productions keeping the show alive. The U.S. Tour is currently in D.C. although only for a few more days. I’ll be seeing the tour for my last time tomorrow. I recommend seeing this show if you have the opportunity, especially since the high costs necessary to support the production may lead to future closures. I’m not trying to presume the show will close (I really want it to be around for a long time, if not forever). However, theatre is of the moment, and sometimes, that means some shows close, making room for other shows to capture our hearts.
I first saw Billy Elliot in January 2009, shortly after the show opened on Broadway. I immediately loved “Expressing Yourself” and “Electricity.” All of the songs grew on me, and now, I love every moment of the show. It’s a very rich show. I am a huge fan of men singing in harmony together, and Billy Elliot showcases the coalminers beautifully. The Small Boy is one of my favorite characters as he provides some much needed comic relief, along with my absolute favorite character, Michael. The Small Boy in Billy Elliot reminds me a bit of the goose in War Horse as both characters lighten the mood and elicit smiles. “Solidarity” is a masterfully choreographed song. The coalminers and the ballerinas are the perfect contrast. “Once We Were Kings,” one of the final numbers of the show, reminds the audience of the dedication and hardship of the coalminers. The shows themes about being who you are, reaching for your dreams, and discovering yourself are relatable and can resonate with audiences of all ages for the most part. The “Finale” is also not to be missed. Considering the show deals with some heavy matters, it’s smart that the creators crafted a enthusiastic, thrilling, and well-choreographed finale. I always leave the show feeling lifted up. Something (or everything) about Billy Elliot speaks to my soul.
Catch it on tour while you can!
If you happen to be in London, I recommend you see it there. I especially love the London production, and I’ve seen some stellar past Billys and Michaels there.