Meet Billy Elliot, an 11-year-old English boy who stumbles upon a ballet class during his weekly boxing lesson. His surprise love for dance must be hidden at all costs, especially from his coal miner father. With help from his sharp-tongued teacher, Mrs. Wilkinson, Billy gets the chance to attend a prestigious ballet school and must decide what is most important: doing what he loves or doing what other people want.
"...Musically speaking, the show has its rousing harmonics very much in place from the fine ensemble, although the rock elements of John’s score didn’t pop entirely as they should, especially when the Rocket Man was playing with the contrast of the miners’ choral traditions with the excitement of a kid channelling all his frustrations into the arts. John was notorious for showing up and turning up the volume on his shows — and had he walked into this theater, the slider on the sound board would have been heading upwards. The show is all about musical shape-shifting, mirroring the central character, and I’ve watched the interplay with an orchestra at this particular theater feel far more organic than seemed to be the case at the weekend."
"...Trent Stork’s direction is masterful and the set by Michelle Lilly will blow your mind! The set is three stories high and in the finale you will see about a dozen miners climb the stairs to the elevator as they return to the mines and watch the elevator slowly travel down to the mine, hearing their voices enter the earth below. WOW! The sound (Adam Rosenthal) and lighting (Greg Hoffman) are also perfect and the costumes (Izumi Inabi) and projections (Mike Tutaj) are also just right. The props are handled by Jesse Gaffney and the fight director was John Tovar."
"...The magnificent musicals and plays produced by Jim Corti's extraordinary Paramount Theatre are always West End and Broadway quality. This glorious show is no exception. It's a musical that generates its own "Electricity" by all the creatives involved in the production. Be ready to cheer until you're hoarse and clap until your hands turn red. But also bring plenty of tissues with you because I guarantee you may shed a few tears as Billy Elliot dances into your heart. This British-based musical story is filled with meaningful, universal truths and is a show not to be missed, especially if you've ever nurtured a dream to bust loose, create art or to simply be true to who you are."
"...The sheer grandeur of the closing moments of this production left me in awe and ranks as the most beautiful visual tapestry I have ever-repeat, ever-seen in a theatre. I am still thinking about it and how Paramount's stunning production of "Billy Elliot" will now occupy a permanent place in my memory box of this show."
"...Paramount Theatre in Aurora unveiled its production of “Billy Elliot: the Musical” this week to a packed house. The music is brilliant. The dancing is heart-stopping, breathtaking, and altogether amazing. And the overall spectacle is as delightfully satisfying as a fine dessert. The standing ovation the cast received was one of the longest in all of recent Chicago theatre – and deservedly so."
"...Aurora's Paramount Theatre has once again demonstrated its prowess in delivering captivating and socially resonant theater with its latest production, "Billy Elliot: The Musical." Already Jeff-Nominated, the production is set against the backdrop of the famed 1984 coal strike in the north of England when Margaret Thatcher's Tory government broke the miner's unions and threw the entire north into extreme poverty, where much of it remains today. It is nearly impossible to talk about this production without talking about that, because the parts that are actually about the miners' struggle are among the most compelling with great soaring anthems delivered with heart by the talented cast."
"...Paramount’s production is awe inspiring. Everything, starting with the talent to the set, the music and especially the dancing, will leave you breathless. The set is another star of the show. The main background conjures up the mine shaft."