Video shot in Bryant Park two years ago by: Corine Cohen
This is not the cast in Florida. This is the Broadway cast.
The show, based on the 2000 film of the same name, is a story about when the British National Union of Mineworkers went on strike, also involving a young boy who is considered less than manly when it is discovered he would rather dance than box.
Watching J. P. Viernes, playing Billy Elliot, dance in the second act number "Electricity", when he is asked how he feels when he is dancing, makes every member in the audience understand why a dancer dances. He commands the stage with his dancing, acting and singing as he does through the whole show.
Along with the aforementioned number another highlight of "Billy Elliot--The Musical" is the show stopping number in the first act "Expressing Yourself" performed by Viernes and Cameron Clifford, as Michael, Billy's friend, who is a cross-dresser, singing and dancing plus cross-dressing about the joys of being yourself. There is a number in the second act when Billy dances to "Swan Lake" with an older, version of Billy (Maximilien A. Baud), and flies in the air, that is impressive with both dances. The curtain calls provides a rousing, raising the roof finale with the whole cast showing their joy of dancing and performing that the audience, and seemingly J. P.Viernes, didn't want to end.
The large cast is artfully directed by Stephen Daldry with Peter Darling handling the choreography both giving the adults in the cast ways of dealing with a lot of the anger in the book written by Lee Hall. A major problem though is allowing the cast, especially in the first act and with the exception of the children, to use very heavy English accents making a lot of the dialogue hard to understand.
With Lee Hall providing the lyrics Elton John's music is appropriate to the time, place, songs and dancing. Very few people will walk out humming the tunes but all will enjoy listening to them. Susan Draus assuredly conducts the orchestra consisting of the 4 musicians who travel with the show and the 5 local musicians.
The cast, the ensemble, are first rate with Leah Hocking as Billy's teacher, Rich Herbert, as his father, Cullen R.Titma as his brother and Cynthia Darlow as his Grandma providing solid backing but it is J. P. Viernes and Cameron Clifford who are rightfully the stars of this show.
Act 1 1 hour and 23 minutes Intermission 15 minutes Act 2 1 hour and 15 minutes.
Lots of stage smoke and smoking Lights aimed directly into audience
Next coming to the Broward Performing Arts Center Rodgers & Hammerstein's South Pacific April 10- 22 with La Cage Aux Folles completing the 2011-2012 season June 12-24.