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 Post subject: Introducing Family and Friends to Billy Elliot The Musical
PostPosted: Fri Jun 03, 2011 5:38 pm 
Mr Braithwaite

Joined: Sun Oct 04, 2009 5:10 am
Posts: 745
Location: Williamstown, NJ
This new topic will be about the best way to introduce others to this great, but complex show. Hopefully anyone who is bringing a friend will tell us where, who, and how they prepaired the person for the show. Or did they let the person view the show "cold". After the show, we would like to know the person's reactions. Also, what would have made the experience better. We can all learn from other's experience.

My own piece of advice is do not have the new viewer read the thread entitled "Themes and sub-plots missed at first viewing". That is for the multiple viewers, and it takes the fun out of discovering BETM yourself.

I brief my friends about the severity of the miners strike(ten deaths and dozens injured) and the fact that when the strike failed, it destroyed the local towns. Other than that, I let them view the show, and if they missed something, I suggest that they attend the show again. Let them discover the many layers of BETM for themselves.


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 Post subject: Re: Introducing Family and Friends to Billy Elliot The Musical
PostPosted: Fri Jun 03, 2011 7:16 pm 
George

Joined: Wed Jul 29, 2009 9:43 pm
Posts: 561
Location: Colorado
I have been able to introduce the musical to several dozen family and friends over the years. If we have a chance to talk ahead of time I always discuss the history of the strike, Elton John's mostly non-pop style score that fits in with the music of the era, and the reasons behind having the Billy and Michael part played by multiple actors.

Even if I don't have this discussion with a newbie, I always send them links to several videos a few days before the show. Currently I like these three brief ones as an intro:

http://www.billyelliotbroadway.com/sigh ... php?id=226
http://www.billyelliotbroadway.com/sigh ... php?id=229
http://www.billyelliotbroadway.com/sigh ... php?id=250


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 Post subject: Re: Introducing Family and Friends to Billy Elliot The Musical
PostPosted: Fri Jun 03, 2011 7:19 pm 
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Billy
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Joined: Thu Mar 19, 2009 1:33 am
Posts: 17597
Location: Williamsburg, Virginia, USA
My brother is quite open minded, and he is very supportive of the arts, but musical theatre is not a big interest of his. However, he appreciates a great story, and he knows an ovation-worthy performance when he sees one. As I said, he is one of those people who believe that "ovation inflation" has become the norm at performances, and he will not stand, even if everyone else in the theatre does, if he feels the performance doesn't rise to the level that deserves a standing ovation. I think he has seen the movie, but to tell the truth, I am not really sure. I gave him the most minimal background about the setting and plot before we went, and that was all. The rest he figured out for himself. And what he figured out was that BETM is a great show, and Dean-Charles is a spectacular performer. :D

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 Post subject: Re: Introducing Family and Friends to Billy Elliot The Musical
PostPosted: Fri Jun 03, 2011 9:37 pm 
Billy

Joined: Tue May 31, 2011 5:52 pm
Posts: 2573
Location: (near) London
shimmyshimmy wrote:
ERinVA wrote:
but musical theatre is not a big interest of his.


But there's a difference between not being a big interest and positively hating it (or being convinced he does), What you're describing would sound like my mom. She's demanding. My brother refused to let me buy him a ticket for West Side Story in Stratford (and only girls wore dresses) which had great reviews. He's always loved Shakespeare's plays, but again would never go to Stratford cause he thought actors couldn't do it justice. What can I say? He's pig headed as all hell. :lol:



I am taking two of my friends to see the matinee on Saturday,in London, this will be my 10th/11th visit,theirs will be the first.All I have told them is that,in my opinion,there is nothing about the show that you cannot enjoy.Let's hope they agree with me.I will report further sometime tomorrow.Dancingboy.


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 Post subject: Re: Introducing Family and Friends to Billy Elliot The Musical
PostPosted: Sat Jun 04, 2011 3:58 am 
Mr Braithwaite

Joined: Sun Oct 04, 2009 5:10 am
Posts: 745
Location: Williamstown, NJ
Thanks all. I am taking other friends to BETM soon, and I like some of your ideas, especially the idea of sending links to short videos about the show. But I have a question. If the person has not seen the film, should I suggest that they view it before the musical. I have mixed feelings about that since it would make it easier to follow the plots. But some people seem disappointed when the musical treats the strike differently, has a greater role for grandma, and ends before Billy is an adult. Does previously seeing the film make the musical experience better?


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 Post subject: Re: Introducing Family and Friends to Billy Elliot The Musical
PostPosted: Sat Jun 04, 2011 8:06 am 
Billy

Joined: Tue May 31, 2011 5:52 pm
Posts: 2573
Location: (near) London
shimmyshimmy wrote:
accessmenj wrote:
Does previously seeing the film make the musical experience better?


It didn't for me. But I sure appreciated the film more after seeing the musical. Maybe I should make that a new topic. :lol:


Believe it or not it is 11 years since the film was first shown and having seen that made me want to see the musical,without a doubt,but the musical stands on its own anyway. I don't think you need to have seen the film to appreciate the musical. Within a theatre environment I think you experience all the emotions that come through so much more. Dancingboy.


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 Post subject: Re: Introducing Family and Friends to Billy Elliot The Musical
PostPosted: Sat Jun 04, 2011 7:31 pm 
Billy

Joined: Tue May 31, 2011 5:52 pm
Posts: 2573
Location: (near) London
dancingboy wrote:
shimmyshimmy wrote:
ERinVA wrote:
but musical theatre is not a big interest of his.


But there's a difference between not being a big interest and positively hating it (or being convinced he does), What you're describing would sound like my mom. She's demanding. My brother refused to let me buy him a ticket for West Side Story in Stratford (and only girls wore dresses) which had great reviews. He's always loved Shakespeare's plays, but again would never go to Stratford cause he thought actors couldn't do it justice. What can I say? He's pig headed as all hell. :lol:



I am taking two of my friends to see the matinee on Saturday,in London, this will be my 10th/11th visit,theirs will be the first.All I have told them is that,in my opinion,there is nothing about the show that you cannot enjoy.Let's hope they agree with me.I will report further sometime tomorrow.Dancingboy.



I have now returned from seeing the show (again) with my two friends.I told them before the show started to expect laughter,tears,emotions,swearing and,of course,dancing. I am pleased to report that they were not disappointed and they
enjoyed the show tremendously. They were particularly impressed with Dean Charles Chapman who played Billy. Dancingboy.


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 Post subject: Re: Introducing Family and Friends to Billy Elliot The Musical
PostPosted: Sun Jun 05, 2011 3:36 am 
Mr Braithwaite

Joined: Sun Oct 04, 2009 5:10 am
Posts: 745
Location: Williamstown, NJ
Some playbills around the world included a dictionary of Geordie terms, kind of an English to English dictionary. :lol: Would it be helpful for first time audience members to have something similar to this?

WORD--- MEANING--- ITALIAN--- GERMAN--- FRENCH---

BAIRN--- CHILD----- BAMBINO---- KIND----- ENFANT---


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 Post subject: Re: Introducing Family and Friends to Billy Elliot The Musical
PostPosted: Sun Jun 05, 2011 8:42 am 
Billy

Joined: Tue May 31, 2011 5:52 pm
Posts: 2573
Location: (near) London
shimmyshimmy wrote:
accessmenj wrote:
Some playbills around the world included a dictionary of Geordie terms, kind of an English to English dictionary. :lol: Would it be helpful for first time audience members to have something similar to this?

WORD--- MEANING--- ITALIAN--- GERMAN--- FRENCH---

BAIRN--- CHILD--- BAMBINO--- KIND--- ENFANT---


It would be helpful to me now. I think I still have several that I haven't quite figured out.

What's the word? Means cool. spelled kosh? something else? I see a word kosh short for kosher, but that doesn't seem like it.

Billy describes Grandma's pasty as I thought it was muck but sounds like munk. What's that?


This is dancingboy from London..... I have to say that it took me several visits to the show to grasp what Billy says about Grandma's pasty.Even now I am not sure.However,there is a word that has come into the English language in recent years and which is primarily used by the younger generation (of which I am not one) and that word is MANKY,meaning inferior or worthless or dirty. It could be that the Geordie take on the word is MANK or MUNK. I could be wrong,but it is a possibility.If I can be of any further help let me know.
Hell, in London, I had no idea what a pasty was, until I discovered pasty shops on every street corner.

There are other words. Can't think of them at the moment. Even something simple like nowt, I would have never known if I hadn't asked an acquaintance from Yorkshire several years ago what in hell it meant.


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 Post subject: Re: Introducing Family and Friends to Billy Elliot The Musical
PostPosted: Sun Jun 05, 2011 9:25 am 
Miner
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Joined: Tue Oct 26, 2010 4:21 pm
Posts: 372
Location: God's own County
shimmyshimmy wrote:
accessmenj wrote:
Some playbills around the world included a dictionary of Geordie terms, kind of an English to English dictionary. :lol: Would it be helpful for first time audience members to have something similar to this?

WORD--- MEANING--- ITALIAN--- GERMAN--- FRENCH---

BAIRN--- CHILD--- BAMBINO--- KIND--- ENFANT---


It would be helpful to me now. I think I still have several that I haven't quite figured out.

What's the word? Means cool. spelled kosh? something else? I see a word kosh short for kosher, but that doesn't seem like it.

Billy describes Grandma's pasty as I thought it was muck but sounds like munk. What's that?

Hell, in London, I had no idea what a pasty was, until I discovered pasty shops on every street corner.

There are other words. Can't think of them at the moment. Even something simple like nowt, I would have never known if I hadn't asked an acquaintance from Yorkshire several years ago what in hell it meant.


It's definitely mank that he says and as dancing boy explained something that is mank is disgusting, nasty, rank,etc.

Cush or cushty is more interesting - I've always taken it to mean something that is good or nice or fortunate but a little delving seems to show it might be evolved from the Romany (gypsy) term 'Kushtipen' meaning happiness.

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