Reviewing theatre can be an interesting job. Of course there are always the hits and amazing productions from the big guys like the DCPA. Also the long standing and reliable theatres such as the BDT Stage.
Smaller theatres are where things can become interesting. You have some of the saddest productions or some of the most breath taking. The Vintage Theatre’s production of “Billy Elliot The Musical” is one of those breath taking diamonds.
The regional premiere of this hit show has found a great theatre in Colorado to open in. The winner of ten Tony Awards, including Best Musical, features music by Elton John and lyrics by Lee
Hall. The show follows Billy Elliot, a young English boy who discovers a love for dance in a rural mining town.
As you follow Billy on his journey of becoming a part of the National Ballet Academy there is also a subplot of the miners’ strike. The juxtaposition this provides throughout the show is beautiful. While the adults are physically fighting one another for their rights, Billy is fighting his feelings through dance. As both plots advance the characters in those plots, Billy’s dad and Billy, grow in their way until eventually the two plots connect and collide. Dad must decide if he wants to continue the strike or support his son’s love for dance.
Billy is played by the amazing, young and talented Kaden Hinkle. This is not an easy role for anyone to take on, especially a young man but Hinkle does it with complete grace and conviction. Audiences may recognize Hinkle in either the national tour of ‘A Christmas Story’ or as Michael Banks in the BDT Stage production of ‘Mary Poppins’.
Hinkle brings something special to the role of Billy. He makes you connect with the character through his incredible singing, spot on acting and amazing dancing. By far one of the highlights of the show is his rendition of “Angry Dance”. Hinkle does what any good Billy Elliot does. He is able to express emotion through dance.
Hinkle is joined by a truly stellar cast: Andy Anderson commands the stage and the family as the dad, Benji Dienstfrey makes you laugh every time he opens his mouth as the best friend Michael,
Adrianne Hampton makes you want to take lessons with the always smoking but always considerate Mrs. Wilkinson and my personal favorite, Deborah Persoff, a recent Henry Award winner for Lifetime Achievement in Theatre as the honest and often forgetful Grandma.
‘Billy Elliot the Musical’ is now playing through March 19 at the Vintage Theatre. For tickets visit vintagetheatre.org.