MCB was invited to come out for the kickoff of the Broadway in Detroit 2012 Season. Unfortunately, the stage production of Billy Elliot the Musical at The Fisher Theater, pushed more agenda than a political convention. While I have always considered the arts to be the quintessential forum for expressing ideas,emotions and beliefs; trying to consume the gusher of ideologies in Billy Elliot was like drinking from a fire hose. . . Now, don't get me wrong, if grown men dancing ethereal, romantic ballet duets with young boys, kids cross dressing and pre pubescent boys learning to give each other little "pecks" is the majority's accepted "norm" these days, then please excuse me and continue sipping that umbrella-"embellished daiquiri, relax and enjoy the convention, er, um I mean production.
Now then, if you are looking for a typical fun musical with heel-kickin' numbers from Elton John and Lee Hall and if you long for innovative tap dances and solid performances from a lively cast- then you'll love this production!
As for the actors: Auburn Hills native, Kylend Hetherington, as Billy Elliot provided a solid, believable portrayal and moved with ease through different dance genres. Patti Perkins as Grandma was wonderful with all the grittiness of Klint Eastwood and grace of a ballroom dancer (even if the role was cliche and contrived). Janice Dickinson was out last Tuesday night and in her place was Sasha Ely-Judkins who filled in well as Mrs. Wilkinson, was also well cast as an archetypal, big busted, long legged, cigarette puffin' dance instructor- hard as cement but with a heart like gummi bears. Overall, the ensemble seemed well rehearsed and energetic and provided an engaging presentation. Certainly Billy Elliot the Musical at the magnificent Fisher Theater in Detroit, would provide any arts patron a superior alternative to yet another evening of flipping through Facebook.
For more info visit: www.BillyElliotTour.com or www.broadwayindetroit.com. Ticket prices for the Detroit engagement of Billy Elliot the musical range from $39-$89 and includes parking and facility fees and are on sale now at the Fisher theater box office and all Ticketmaster locations. Tickets are also available for purchase online at www.Ticketmaster.com or www.BroadwayinDetroit.com or by calling Ticketmaster at 1-800-982-2787, for additional information, call 313-872-1000
2012 2013 Broadway in Detroit season is sponsored by Chrysler.
Review by Theresa Maybee Bolinger