Jan 31

Dance Across the Picket Line: BILLY ELLIOT

Photo by Glenn Cook Photography; on the way to boxing class.

Presented by Wheelock Family Theatre
Book & lyrics by Lee Hall
Music by Elton John
Orchestrations by Martin Koch
Based on the Universal Pictures/Studio Canal film Billy Elliot
Directed by Susan Kosoff
Originally directed by Stephen Daldry
Music direction by Jon Goldberg
Choreographed by Laurel Conrad
Sign Performances by Luke Baer, Alvin Haas, Ali Schmalenberger
Audio descriptions by Cori Couture, Ruth Celia Kahn

Jan. 27 – Feb. 26, 2017
ASL performances on Fri, Feb 24 @ 7:30, & Sun, Feb 26, @ 3
All performances are open captioned
The theatre is wheelchair accessible
Wheelock College
200 Riverway
Boston, MA
Wheelock on Facebook

Recommended for ages 8+ for mild violence, occasional references to sexy times by children who don’t understand what they are saying, and English cursing.  

Review by Kitty Drexel

“The arts are essential to any complete national life. The State owes it to itself to sustain and encourage them….Ill fares the race which fails to salute the arts with the reverence and delight which are their due.”
– Winston Churchill (that other quote attributed to Churchill is not something he actually said.)

(Boston, MA) Wheelock does great work with Billy Elliot:The Musical. The 2000 source movie Billy Elliot, is a sweet and rough story about a working class boy who becomes enchanted with dance while his widower father, and brother are caught up in the coal miners’ strike. They are more worried that Billy might be gay, than they are in monitoring Billy’s daytime whereabouts. The musical, based on the movie, incorporates many points of the movie’s plot. The big distinction is the musical’s Disney-fication. Alter expectations accordingly.    Continue reading

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Oct 05

GAMES WITHOUT FRONTIERS: “Billy Elliot – The Musical”

Photo © Paul Lyden

Photo © Paul Lyden

Presented by North Shore Music Theatre
Music by Elton John
Book and Lyrics by Lee Hall
Based on the Universal Pictures/Studio Canal Film
Direction and Choreography by Adam Pelty
Musical direction by Andrew Bryan

September 29th – October 11th, 2015
Beverly, MA
NSMT on Facebook

Review by Craig Idlebrook

(Beverly, MA) Leave it to children to show adults just how stupid they can be.

In Billy Elliot – the Musical, a young boy in a northern English town stumbles into a love of ballet in the midst of a coal miner strike in the mid-eighties. It is a good show that can achieve multiple goals during the course of the script, and North Shore Music Theatre stages a good one. Through skillful choreography and playful dance, this production shows how the political struggles of Thatcherism in the UK so closely resembles the nonsensical and almost playful twists and turns of a second-rate children’s ballet show. At the same time, at its core, this play is a simple coming-of-age story of a child growing up different and talented at a time when a community was straining to hold onto a core value of gray sameness. Continue reading

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Oct 20

Egypt Unfinished: AIDA

Photo credit courtesy Fiddlehead Theatre Company/Matt McKee Photo

Presented by Fiddlehead Theatre Company
Presented at the Historic Strand Theatre
Music by Elton John
Lyrics by Tim Rice
Book by Linda Woolverton, Robert Falls and David Henry Hwang
Directed by James Tallach and Meg Fofonoff
Music directed by Balint Varga
Choreography by Kira Cowan

October 17 – 26th, 2014
The Strand Theater
543 Columbia Rd
Dorchester, MA 02125
Fiddlehead Theatre on Facebook

Fiddlehead Theater Company, in collaboration with Aids Action Committee, is proud to present AIDA. 5% of every ticket sold will go to Aids Action Committee.

Review by Danielle Rosvally

Dear Sir Elton John,

I have loved Aida since you first wrote it in 2000 and it took Broadway by storm. It has made me wish many things about myself: that I had the range to successfully best to belt out the craziness that is “My Strongest Suit” somewhere other than my shower so that I could be a part of your glittering romantic someday; that I was an Egyptian Princess so that I could have a wardrobe extensive enough to be sung about this way (….but only in the strictest cartoon sense of the term since being a real Egyptian Princess is a bit more complicated than romantic intrigue and Lady Gaga like clothing choices); or, failing all else, that I could at least appreciate a production which transported me to these places in my head with all the glimmering splendor which belongs to it. Continue reading

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Sep 23

An Earnest Mess: TWINS

Photo Credit: Boston Actors Theatre Facebook page

Presented by Boston Actors Theater
By Julian Olf
Directed by Anna Trachtman

September 6th – September 21st, 2013
Boston Playwrights Theater
Boston, MA
Boston Actors Theatre on Facebook

Review by Craig Idlebrook

(Boston) In his memoir It Would be So Nice if You Weren’t Here, the actor Charles Grodin gleefully revels in his few dismal failures as an actor, including a critique of a scene study given by a famed acting coach where she cut down most of his work on stage.  There was one moment, however, where Grodin and his fellow actor got confused about who was supposed to take a folder, and that moment, she said, was pure acting.  (Think of the frustration one must feel upon hearing such an utterance.) Continue reading

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Feb 26

BILLY ELLIOT: some sparks of ‘electricity’

Alex Ko as Billy Elliot, http://alturl.com/zk5dt

Billy Elliot, book and lyrics by Lee Hall, music by Elton John, based on the Universal Pictures/Studio Canal Film, Imperial Theatre (Broadway), 2009 Tony Award for Best Musical, open run since 10/1/08, http://www.billyelliotbroadway.com/Contains mature language and themes.  (for those with allergies:  fog and cigarette smoke, avoid the orchestra section)

Reviewed by Becca Kidwell

Yes, it’s been a little over two years and I have just been to see Billy Elliot.  I confess, I am very hesitant to spend over $100 on a ticket to a show that I don’t know much about.  Musicals based on movies have had a mixed history (Footloose, The Wedding Singer, Carrie, Legally Blonde, The Producers, Hairspray, Nine, etc.). So, I was looking at my break in February and trying to figure out what shows I would see in New York.   Continue reading

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