‘Billy Elliot’ a Broadway success

Kelly Covell

The current financial woes of the United States have been gracing headlines, broadcasts and now the Broadway stage in the perfectly timed premiere of “Billy Elliot,” a movie-turned-play about the 1980s coal miner union fighting for financial freedom.

The struggles of the workers are mirrored not only in our own country’s condition but also in the artistically choreographed dance scenes of a young male ballet dancer who steals the show and, likely, the audience’s breath with his unbelievable talent. The play is poignant, purposeful and a dose of entertainment that we need now more than ever.

The title role is shared among three young actors, Trent Kowalik, Kiril Kulish and David Alvarez.

Kowalik performed on opening night, and it’s nearly impossible to imagine any dancer/actor being more, or even equally talented. Despite this, he cannot receive credit for stealing the show.

The artistic direction of every scene is a perfectly shocking contrast between the aggressive violence of the rioters versus the poise and innocence of the children’s ballet class.

It makes clear its intended message of the importance of doing what you love, emulated through a sequence of dances with the occasional ballad. The choreography is not outshined by the score, which was written by Elton John.

If it weren’t for the captivating performances of the opening night actors, I may have been permanently distracted and star-struck by the audience members sitting to my right. Only the unrivaled star power of Sir Elton John could bring the likes of Barbara Walters, Ben Stiller, Ron Howard, Mayor Michael Bloomberg, Kevin Spacey and more to the Imperial Theatre.

The cast after-party was held at La.Venue on the West Side where the paparazzi waited for the celebrity audience members and the soon-to-be-celebrity cast to arrive on the red carpet. In accordance with the theme of the night’s performance, a DJ and dance floor were setup beneath a disco ball so massive that it appeared as though you were looking into a mirror.

Whether or not amid an “all-star” opening-night audience, you will be star struck by the performance.