Saturday, January 3, 2009

Dearie Awards 2008: Stage Show of the Year - BILLY ELLIOT

Some of our favorite films of all time have been adapted for the stage, and the results can be great (Hairspray) or ... not so great (The Little Mermaid). Happily, joyfully, Billy Elliot joins the short list of the former.

Soaring as high as the hopes and dreams of its title character, Billy landed on Broadway after its award-winning debut in London (where it is still playing) without losing an ounce of its charm or heart. And, with our country experiencing the same kind of economic downturn as seen in the show itself, what better time to escape into the world of a boy who trades in his boxing gloves for a pair of ballet shoes?

With the direction of Stephen Daldry, book and lyrics by Lee Hall (recreating their Academy Award nominated work on the original film) and a score by none other than Sir Elton John, the musical features the stunning debuts of a trio of triple threats who alternate in the demanding lead role: David Alvarez, Trent Kowalik and Kiril Kulish. To them, we can only say, "Dance, Billy, dance!"

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