I saw "Billy Elliot" way back when it was released on--ahem--tape. It actually seems much longer, but it came out a bit over ten years ago. It has multi-layered meanings for me, and I watched it probably three times a day for a week. I originally got it because it was about dancing, and if only for that, it is amazing. Anyways, we went to see "Billy Elliot, The Musical" last night. It came here for its debut tour stop. I knew it was going to be good--it won the Tony for best musical--and it was "Billy Elliot," for crying out loud--but I really didn't have high expectations. I didn't think it could come close to touching me on an emotional level the way the movie did. And I was right. The production was fantastic, no doubt. The dancing was incredible. There were five different boys playing the part of Billy due to the rigors of the roll. The kid we saw could not have been better, but Jamie Bell holds a piece of my heart. I was a little surprised by how close the musical stayed true to the language of the movie. Down yere in tha sowth we dowt git much cussin in orwn shozs. Ah, wake up, y'all! I argued all the way home about how integral it was to the show. It was about miners in Ireland during a strike. Miners. Ireland. Duh. I drank a Guinness during the first half of the show in support of those miners.
So, I give it a thumbs up and highly recommend seeing it if it comes your way. Be ready to laugh. The scenes between Billy and Michael are hysterical. Be ready to be amazed by the dancing. But don't worry about bringing a Kleenex or three.