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 Post subject: Thommie Retter's BETM Farewell Celebration
PostPosted: Sat Jan 07, 2012 1:35 pm 
Billy
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Joined: Wed Apr 29, 2009 4:35 am
Posts: 4069
Location: Rochester, NY
How about a separate thread for reviews and comments about Friday's Celebration workshop?

My head is still swimming at the sheer number of celebrities, former and current company members, who were there. It was like a recap of the last 3 years. One of the things that struck me is that because there were 100+ "superfans" in the room, I suddenly didn't feel weird or different to admit publicly that I had seen the show or any particular Billy so many times. Often in the theater or at the stage door it is hard to say you have seen the show many times. But here we were among like-minded fans. The cast members and parents who were there all recognized and appreciated the support we fans give. It was also nice that a few parents actually remembered meeting me last summer, especially Giuseppe's mom Sonia who gave me a hug when she first saw me. :P

The performances were all outstanding. For me there were two major OMG moments at this event:

1- Joshua Joubert playing "Amazing Grace" on the piano. Joshua performed this 18 years ago at the White House for President Clinton and visiting Russian dignitaries. You wouldn't think "Amazing Grace" on a piano would be anything so special, but it was. His improve style of this piece was totally captivating. The fans all gave a standing ovation at the end.

2- Trent doing "I Can't Stand Still". His tap and step dancing were of course brilliant. We already knew that, and have seen similar demonstrations before. What really amazed me is his new very 'Broadway' voice. Wow!!! Where did that come from? I was blown away by the way he could belt out that song. :D

It was nice to see many of the ballet girls, who never get to shine as individuals in the show, get to show off their talents. I also really enjoyed the dramatic monologues that Tommy and Jake did from "The Prize Guys". Based on just that small sample of material it is going to be a heck of a powerful movie! Hopefully others will chime in with some more reviews.

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 Post subject: Re: Thommie Retter's BETM Farewell Celebration
PostPosted: Sat Jan 07, 2012 2:58 pm 
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Billy
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Joined: Thu Mar 19, 2009 1:33 am
Posts: 17596
Location: Williamsburg, Virginia, USA
Actually, Joubert's first name is Joseph, and I agree with you that his performance was absolutely awesome! All the performances were awesome.

Chris has mentioned a few, all of which I completely agree with. To mention a the others, we were treated to a great performance of a special arrangement of the Reading Rainbow theme song from the ballet girls, an impressive tap routine by Eboni Edwards, one of Tessa's amazing original creations (which was definitely NOT the ballad she was billed to sing in the souvenir playbill--are we surprised??? ;) ), a great duo routine by Maria May and Ava DeMary, wonderful solos by Kendra Tate, Donnie Kehr, and Kate Hennig, a really neat song and dance number from Giuseppe, and excellent dance performances from Peter, Keean, and Stephen Hanna, who danced the White Swan pas de deux with his partner, Abi Stafford, from the New York City Ballet.

What can I say?! What an event! Wish you ALL could have been there.

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"I don't want people who want to dance; I want people who have to dance.”
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 Post subject: Re: Thommie Retter's BETM Farewell Celebration
PostPosted: Sat Jan 07, 2012 3:16 pm 
Billy
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Joined: Wed Apr 29, 2009 4:35 am
Posts: 4069
Location: Rochester, NY
ERinVA wrote:
Actually, Joubert's first name is Joseph

Yes thanks Ellen. My eyes must have still been just half open when I wrote that review. :oops:

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 Post subject: Re: Thommie Retter's BETM Farewell Celebration
PostPosted: Sat Jan 07, 2012 4:23 pm 
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Dad
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Joined: Thu Mar 19, 2009 9:22 am
Posts: 1663
Location: Virginia Beach, VA USA
What a memorable afternoon yesterday. What I liked about it was not only the amazing talent these people had but the different variety of performances we were presented with - a little bit of everything - music, singing, dancing and drama. Kudos to Thommie and everyone else involved.

As for the dance lesson part of the celebration, I realize now why I'm not in show business. :oops: :oops: God forbid if my attempt at doing the Finale ends up on YouTube. :oops: :lol: :oops:


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 Post subject: Re: Thommie Retter's BETM Farewell Celebration
PostPosted: Sat Jan 07, 2012 4:39 pm 
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Billy
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Joined: Sun Mar 15, 2009 11:26 pm
Posts: 5530
Location: England
Rich B wrote:
God forbid if my attempt at doing the Finale ends up on YouTube. :oops: :lol: :oops:

;)

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Billy Whiz is the Gallery Admin. Please send your photos, articles etc to forum.gallery[at]billyelliottheforum.me.uk Please replace [at] with @

In the email can you also please let me know the date where and when the photo(s) was taken, who is in the photo(s) as well as your forum name.

When you send photos to the gallery can you also please PM me to let me know that you have sent them. If I don't receive them after a couple of days I can then chase them up.


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 Post subject: Re: Thommie Retter's BETM Farewell Celebration
PostPosted: Sat Jan 07, 2012 4:47 pm 
Tall Boy
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Joined: Thu Sep 16, 2010 10:59 pm
Posts: 102
Location: London
Thank you for these reviews! Sounds like it was an amazing evening :) I look forward to hopefully seeing some pictures of the event later. Can't believe tomorrow's THE day.

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113 Shows: (July 2008 - March 2016)
23 Billys: (LaytonX1, TannerX1, OllieX2, RyanX14, ScottX1, Dean-CharlesX4, AdamX16, JoshX5, KaineX8, HarrisX8, HarrisonX10, RedmandX10, TadeX2, AliX5.5, ElliottX5, BradleyX5.5, MitchellX3, MatteoX1, Ollie JX3, NatX3, Brodie X3, Thomas X1, Euan X1)
18 Michaels: (ShaunX1, Dean-CharlesX1, JakeX1, JoeX31, ReeceX15.5, Connor KellyX17.5, Connor LawsonX2, Adam VespermanX1, ThomasX5, JackX3, ZachX7.5, Tade BiesingerX1, FreddieX5.5, ZakX5, TomiX5, ToddX3, NathanX3, BenX1, BradleyX3)
13 Debbies: (MeganX1, AnnabelleX1, FrancescaX14, Emily SmithX7, Emily WilliamsX16, MacyX18, DaynaX16, MillieX12, DemiX14.5, KyriaX4, ConnieX3.5, Beatrice X2, HollieX3)


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 Post subject: Re: Thommie Retter's BETM Farewell Celebration
PostPosted: Sat Jan 07, 2012 5:55 pm 
George
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Joined: Mon Mar 01, 2010 10:42 pm
Posts: 516
Location: Ontario, Canada
Here are my photos of the Fan Celebration.


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 Post subject: Re: Thommie Retter's BETM Farewell Celebration
PostPosted: Sat Jan 07, 2012 8:18 pm 
Billy

Joined: Mon Feb 14, 2011 11:54 pm
Posts: 6806
LiamM wrote:


Fantastic photos, Liam!

Those of us who couldn't be there really appreciate it!


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 Post subject: Re: Thommie Retter's BETM Farewell Celebration
PostPosted: Sat Jan 07, 2012 11:25 pm 
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Billy
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Posts: 5530
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Here's a link to a youtube video of Trent's performance.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=erzsDo0J ... ature=plcp

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Billy Whiz is the Gallery Admin. Please send your photos, articles etc to forum.gallery[at]billyelliottheforum.me.uk Please replace [at] with @

In the email can you also please let me know the date where and when the photo(s) was taken, who is in the photo(s) as well as your forum name.

When you send photos to the gallery can you also please PM me to let me know that you have sent them. If I don't receive them after a couple of days I can then chase them up.


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 Post subject: Re: Thommie Retter's BETM Farewell Celebration
PostPosted: Sun Jan 08, 2012 12:45 am 
Small Boy

Joined: Sun Feb 07, 2010 9:48 pm
Posts: 65
Thank you for the photos Liam!!! I was there but only had my cell phone and did not take anything because i wanted to digest every performance.

We all performed "The Finale" and "Merry Christmas Maggie Thatcher" to start the celebration off. It was lead by Thommie, Trent, Giuseppe & Peter. When they started off the beginning of "Merry Christmas Maggie Thatcher" Shawn Gough told Peter he was Small Boy.

Jake and Tommy both performed a moving and emotional monologue that you were captured by. They both were breath taking because you did except something like that.

I've never seen Keenan perform as Michael so it was nice for me to see him dance, even barefooted. What a terrific performance he made which was outstanding and what a great way to finish. Peter's solo was mind blowing, and it felt like he was performing electricity all over again but with different routine. He was one of my favorite performances of the day and hope to see a video of him doing it again. Giuseppe sang a number that Thommie wrote for him. He performed it with a smile on his face and sung an original song very nicely. What a voice he has, and his three backup singers or AKA Ballet Girls Makenzi/Maria/Ava were terrific.

Yes those unsung heroes of the show those Ballet Girls finally had their time to Shine. All of these Ballet Girls are a triple threat and could have stole the show away from their Billy's. Kendra Tate sang a beautiful rendition of "Thank You" and what a voice she has. She started out with a little speech. Then Eboni danced a solo tap without any music and was outstanding. She has grown since the show began all around. Tessa of course wrote something and rapped it, she was off the hook with it too.
Then Brianna Fragomeni, Makenzie Fishenbach, Lilla Crawford, Kayla Vanderbilt, Danika Yarosh & Kara Oates all sang a number with the show Reading Rainbow(RIP) lyrics incorpated into it. They each had a little solo line and duets. Hard to put into words but it was marvelous, too short, and they sing beautifully together. Second to last performance of the day was Maria May and Ava DeMary sang and danced to "Walk This Way" by Run DMC/Aerosmith. They did little hip hop dances during breaks of the song, got the front row involved, and had a joy throughout. It was wonderful to see two spastic starfishes, two Karen Davidson's, two Keeley Gibson's.Whether or not they performed together as Ballet Girls in the show, they all get along no matter what. One found out one of the recent new Billly's was named Tade. One thing for sure it would a talented ballet class for Mrs. Wilkinson.

It was a very memorable afternoon. Would love to thank everyone who was involved with setting it up. <3.

After all the performances were done all the children signed autographs and took pictures. The ballet girls were thrilled to be giving autographs. The ballet girls in the cast had to be at the theatre at 6:20. Asked Kara if she would be on as Jane Banks and she said yes so got a ticket at the TKTS counter to see her. Will give you a review of the show by later tonight, crossing my fingers.


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