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Billy Elliot the Musical
Billy Elliot the Musical

Billy Elliot the Musical
Porchlight Music Theatre at Ruth Page Center For Arts
Thru - Dec 31, 2017

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Porchlight Music Theatre at Ruth Page Center For Arts

  • Highly Recommended
  • Recommended
  • Somewhat Recommended
  • Not Recommended

Chicago Tribune- Highly Recommended

"...I'm sure I'll see "Billy Elliot" again, although my long journey with this show feels complete now. Here it is, one more time, affordably priced but soul intact, ideal for families, bursting with veracity and heart, open for business in the city for which it was made."
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Chris Jones

Chicago Sun Times- Highly Recommended

"...In Lincoln Seymour, the lean, sad-eyed, beautifully expressive 14-year-old who stars in Porchlight Music Theatre's fervent, heartrending, tears-and-laughter-inducing new production of the show, director Brenda Didier has found a rare and altogether remarkable talent. Seymour is so natural, and at the same time so gifted, that when one of the adults in the musical explains that dance can be a calculated technical art, or something that emerges from the person like breath itself, it sounds as if the line were added just to pay tribute to him. (In fact, it is in the script.)"
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Hedy Weiss

Chicago Reader- Highly Recommended

"...Didier's direction achieves the balance of grace and grit required by Lee Hall and Elton John's adaptation, best reflected in the performances of Sean Fortunato, whose portrayal of grieving widower is steeped in pain, and Shanesia Davis, who's an electric onstage presence when she gets to cut loose."
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Oliver Sava

Windy City Times- Highly Recommended

"...Director Brenda Didier accomplishes it all in under two and a half hours of seamless spectacle amply fulfilled by an ensemble featuring a squad of high-spirited and high-stepping children led by Lincoln Seymour ( alternating with Jacob Kaiser ) and Peyton Owen as the boys destined to make their own way in the world, along with Sean"
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Mary Shen Barnidge

ShowBizChicago- Highly Recommended

"...The success of Billy Elliot rests squarely on the shoulders of the young lead and in casting, Lincoln Seymour (and alternate Jacob Kaiser), Ms. Didier has almost insured the shows greatness. Mr. Seymour is by far the finest Billy I've seen, be it on Broadway or several national tours. He exudes everything one would expect in the character, including a vast blackness of hurt that would come from the loss of a mother (beautifully portrayed by Nicole Cready). When it's time for his big number number, Electricity, which he explains what dance feels like in his soul, it his truth as no other Billy has been able to convey to an audience. This exposes Billy's core also explains his love his best friend, Michael (a spot on performance by Peyton Owen)."
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R.P. Alberto

Stage and Cinema- Recommended

"...Billy Elliot was born to dance; likewise his cinematic tale just had to become a musical. But it's a case of apples and oranges: If you loved the Universal Pictures film from 2000, you'll like the musical. If you never saw the movie, or wish it had been both more political and more spectacular (i.e, larger and louder than life), you'll love this multi-Tony winner. Now in a galvanic revival by Porchlight Music Theatre at Chicago's Ruth Page Center for the Arts, despite its hit-and-run plot development and jerky character development, Billy Elliot the Musical is a real contender."
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Lawrence Bommer

Splash Magazine- Highly Recommended

"...In many ways, this cast is better than the one I saw many years ago in New York (and then again in 2010 when the tour had a nearly nine-month sit-down extended-run in the Loop). Those productions were almost too polished for their good. Flashy dance numbers and perfect technique may be pleasing to an audience, but they don't service the story. These are ordinary people going through difficult times and the rawness in the movements should reflect that reality."
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Justin LeClaire

Around The Town Chicago- Highly Recommended

"...This spectacular production is directed and choreographed by one of my favorite local talents, Brenda Didier, and anyone who has watched her grow her craft, knows that her heart and soul is in every dance number. Once again, she shows us what she feels and is able to pull this emotion out of each cast member. I for one, love her work and her talent!"
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Alan Bresloff

NewCity Chicago- Highly Recommended

"...Newly ensconced in the storied theater at The Ruth Page Center for the Arts, Porchlight remains an important voice of musical theater in Chicago, spinning between a vibrant but financially strapped storefront theater scene and the big-money dinner theaters of the suburbs. You mustn’t miss this singular experience, gifted by a producing organization that affords us glowing productions and helmed by top artists, gnawing fearless on the joint of today’s headlines."
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Aaron Hunt

Chicago Theatre Review- Highly Recommended

"...This is a gritty, exciting and joyously inspiring production. It’s a celebration, in every way, of the strengths we harbor and our need to always be true to ourselves. This production also demonstrates the need for keeping art in our school system, as well as in our own mundane lives. Ms. Didier and her astoundingly talented cast all bring “Electricity” to the stage of the remodeled Ruth Page Center for the Arts, while rejoicing in what it means to follow your dream and live the life that’s meant for you."
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Colin Douglas

The Fourth Walsh- Recommended

"...BILLY ELLIOT THE MUSICAL is as edgy as a musical gets. It’s not light and breezy. It’s poignant. And with all the political hoopla over coal miners, the oppressive story feels timely. And who better to reach across the aisle to present the conflict? Porchlight brings the drama, music and dance alive in its new home."
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Katy Walsh

Chicagoland Musical Theatre- Highly Recommended

"...What the Brenda Didier-directed version at Porchlight does best is show off the fears at the core of this striking mining town juxtaposed against youthful idealism and the rights of young people to be allowed to follow their dreams."
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Barry Reszel

Chicago Theater and Arts- Highly Recommended

"...This expression is interpreted in two emotionally powerful dance numbers "Angry Dance" and "Electricity," each skillfully co-choreographed by Brenda Diddier / Craig V. Miller and brilliantly performed by Kaiser with Ivan Bruns-Trukhin as Older Billy."
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Jodie Jacobs

Chicago On Stage- Highly Recommended

"...This is a deeply complex show: on the one hand, it is a musical about a boy discovering his love for dancing and overcoming prejudice to fulfill his dream. On the other hand, it is a drama in which an unfeeling government enacts policies that destroy the livelihood of an entire town of people we come to have feelings for. That both of these events happen, both threads work, and somehow we all end up feeling great at the end shows how well put together it all is. Porchlight's production wrings everything possible from it and leaves the audience at its new home eager to come back to see how they will adapt their next show to this space."
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Karen Topham

Picture This Post- Highly Recommended

"...We cheer Billy's journey from “Shine” – the early number where Mrs. Wilkinson prods her motley class of little girls – to the soaring dance number that literally takes him aloft. BILLY ELLIOT convinces us that artistic talent will overcome the greatest of obstacles. If that isn’t optimistic enough, Porchlight’s production ends with an elaborate tutu-filled curtain call that’s worth the price of admission -- even without the magnificent two and a half hours that preceded it."
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Susan Berlin