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 Post subject: Re: Friday Night, December 21. a review
PostPosted: Sat Dec 22, 2012 7:37 pm 
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Billy
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Cherri wrote:
I had a wondrous time and will be traveling to Baltimore for 4 more Billy's before the troop moves on!
'Tis 1 am now. To all a good night!


Thanks for the review, Cherri! Wishing him all the best and hope to see him there next week!

Sean


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 Post subject: Re: Baltimore Reviews
PostPosted: Sat Dec 22, 2012 11:36 pm 
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Grandma
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Okay, so I finally have a minute to breathe - the new carpet is (finally) in (after the original got very bad water damage due to Sandy), the Christmas tree is (finally) up just in time, and aside from wrapping, I am almost ready for Christmas! Of course having Billy Elliot in town has NOT helped me try to schedule things - too many late nights! Anyway, on to the interesting stuff!

I saw Noah on opening night ably assisted by Jake as Michael, and the regulars. Only other point of interest was that Ben was on as TB/PB. Last time I saw Noah was at his debut performance in Louisville. That was an amazingly confident performance and he impressed me mightily then... And he continues to impress me. He is completely comfortable on stage and is a terrific little actor. He is a sweet kid trying hard to be tough, but he can't quite pull it off - I mean, Noah's Billy can't quite pull off the toughness, thanks to Noah's great acting! His dancing is flawless, and I don't really know what more I can say. I like focusing on some of the other skills, because Noah came in to Billy with the dancing skills. The acting and singing are equally impressive, because he can do both beautifully. Noah does a great job pulling off the wide-eyed bewildered look - it's funny and sweet at the same time. Noah has this way of immediately drawing me in to his world, and I find myself rooting for his Billy even before his opening number is complete! Bravo Noah. Love, love, love Janet Dickinson as Ms. W. She is wonderful, and has a beautiful voice to boot - she has a great rapport with all her Billies! Rich Herbert has been one consistent Dad since the tour started back in Durham. Always puts out a solid performance. Cullen Titmas as Tony is growing on me. One person who I don't mention often is Samantha Cutler as Debbie - this kid is terrific, night after night with her different leading men. She enunciates so clearly that every word she says is easily heard and understood. She also has wonderful timing... As one example, when Billy says "me mum's dead," Debbie will often rush "oh... See ya then" but not Samantha - she says the "oh" then waits enough time that you know she is thinking about what to say next, can't figure out what to say, and then bows out. This is just one small example of how she milks the timing - a great little actress! Bravo Samantha! Jake is a great Michael - his Michael was a bit understated in act 1, but it worked real well, in my opinion. He let it all out during the winter scene in act 2. Bravo Jake!

Night number 2 saw Ben Cook as our leading man, ably assisted by Sam Poon. This time, TB/PB was Jake. I last saw Ben at his debut performance in Louisville... (Did I say that already? ;) ) Anyway, he was wonderful then, and continues to be wonderful. Because Ben is quite tall, his Billy feels more grown up than Noah's... His is more a teenager to Noah's pre-teen. This changes the dynamic of the relationships with the other characters some, notably Ms. W. What is so amazing about BETM is that both styles work, and it is worth seeing the show multiple times for that reason alone! Anyway, back to Ben - he has a wonderful singing voice - and such a stage presence. And his dancing - he opens his Electricity with an aerial that just takes your breathe away! Sam Poon is a terrific Michael - going all out in Express, milking the audience! Speaking of the audience, Baltimore has been great - they are super engaged in the show, laughing lots, crying some, standing ovations at the end. I'm so proud of my almost-hometown!

Night number 3 saw Drew Minard in what was only his second ever performance as Billy - I would never had guessed it had I not read it here first - he was wonderful. Great accent, wonderful dancing, singing and acting. Where do they find such consistent talent??? I don't have a good feel for Drew's Billy yet... Gotta see him a few more times. Also, I was sitting quite a bit further back from the stage for this show, so I did not get to see facial expressions as much as I would have liked. Jake did his wonderful take on Michael again, and Sam was on as TB/PB. We had an understudy as Tony, but I don't remember his name off the top of my head. He was good too. They all are - such depth to the cast.

One person I have missed seeing so far is Tim Funnel as... the scab and posh dad. Particularly as posh dad, he is so funny - I notice that the guy who was on has adopted Tim's run across the stage - the first time I saw Tim do that (in London) I just cracked up - a surprisingly funny touch.

The company are all wonderful from ballet girls to George, to Big Davey to small boy to grandma and everyone else! What a joy to have the show so close to home. I only have tickets for a couple of shows next weekend, but I imagine I will swing by once or twice more next week after the holiday stuff is complete. It would be great to catch the other new Billy OR see Drew again, or Noah, or Ben...

That's all for now!

maria

PS Cherri, thanks for filling us in on last night - wish I could have been there - two Billies for the price of one! I may be wrong, but I don't think a Billy has ever come back for the curtain call after being replaced, probably because they don't hang around the theater, or... Anyway, I think that was a nice touch!

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 Post subject: Re: Baltimore Reviews
PostPosted: Sun Dec 23, 2012 2:03 am 
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Billy
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I saw the first two nights with Noah and Ben, and maria has just said everything about those performances that I would say, so thanks for writing my review, maria! ;) I don't think I have liked a cast in any show anywhere better than this one. There is such depth of talent in this group, from every single adult to every single kid, that it just amazes me every time I see the tour. I was delighted to see both Noah and Ben again, and to experience two new (to me) Michaels, Jake and Sam, both of whom did a fine job. I love Janet Dickinson's Mrs. W., Rich Hebert's Dad, Cullen Titmas's Tony and Patti Perkins' Grandma. All the ballet girls are wonderful (it was nice to see Maddie Barnes playing Susan Parks) and Samantha Cutler, who as Debbie, has the attitude, the sass, and the accent to perfection. All of the ensemble are topnotch as well. As I said, I love this entire cast, and I am so glad I got to see the show twice in Baltimore with two great audiences. Now I am really looking forward to Richmond, where I expect to see Drew and Mitchell as well as Noah and Ben again. Roll on February 1-3!

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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: Baltimore Reviews
PostPosted: Sun Dec 23, 2012 6:57 pm 
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Billy
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Here's another review from a different writer for the Baltimore Sun:
http://www.baltimoresun.com/explore/how ... 4002.story

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Ellen



"I don't want people who want to dance; I want people who have to dance.”
-George Balanchine 1904 -1983


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 Post subject: Re: Baltimore Reviews
PostPosted: Tue Dec 25, 2012 1:04 pm 
Tony
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Here's a radio review of the show on podcast.
http://www.wypr.org/podcast/12-24-12-bi ... hippodrome


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 Post subject: Re: Baltimore Reviews
PostPosted: Tue Dec 25, 2012 1:40 pm 
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Billy
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Thanks for posting that link. That was an excellent review. It's nice to listen to someone who knows what she is talking about. :D

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Ellen



"I don't want people who want to dance; I want people who have to dance.”
-George Balanchine 1904 -1983


To follow the forum's Twitter at http://twitter.com/BEForum, click on the direct link in Applies to All Forums above.


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 Post subject: Re: Baltimore Reviews
PostPosted: Tue Dec 25, 2012 6:22 pm 
Billy
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ERinVA wrote:
That was an excellent review. It's nice to listen to someone who knows what she is talking about.


I totally agree, Ervina, this is a terrific interview and it was really, really pleasant to listen to someone who truly does "get it" and knows what she's talking about.

I was especially happy to hear her talk about the choreography of Peter Darling. At first, when talking about major reasons why the musical is so true to the movie, she cited the direction of Stephen Daldry and the screenplay and book of Lee Hall in both. My first reaction was "here's another person who isn't giving Peter Darling his due for having done such great choreography in both" (because I had read several reviews/articles recently that left out Darling's involvement in both the movie and musical when we know he's a very major reason for the success of both). But later in the interview, she did give Darling his due, though she still didn't voice his involvement in both the movie and musical.

All in all, though, a great interview and certainly one that should make people of the Baltimore area want to see the show!


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 Post subject: Re: Baltimore Reviews
PostPosted: Wed Dec 26, 2012 4:29 pm 
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Billy
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maria wrote:
[Noah] is a sweet kid trying hard to be tough, but he can't quite pull it off - I mean, Noah's Billy can't quite pull off the toughness, thanks to Noah's great acting!

This line reminds me of the scene in the movie where Jamie looks in the mirror in the locker room trying to keep it together as a tough guy before slouching his shoulders and running off.

maria wrote:
Noah does a great job pulling off the wide-eyed bewildered look - it's funny and sweet at the same time.

I know exactly the look you're speaking of, and you're right, he does this so well!

maria wrote:
One person who I don't mention often is Samantha Cutler as Debbie - this kid is terrific, night after night with her different leading men. She enunciates so clearly that every word she says is easily heard and understood. She also has wonderful timing... As one example, when Billy says "me mum's dead," Debbie will often rush "oh... See ya then" but not Samantha - she says the "oh" then waits enough time that you know she is thinking about what to say next, can't figure out what to say, and then bows out. This is just one small example of how she milks the timing - a great little actress! Bravo Samantha!

Very true, all of it! Samantha is great!

Thank you for the wonderful review, Maria! Getting excited now for my upcoming trip!

Sean

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 Post subject: Re: Baltimore Reviews
PostPosted: Wed Dec 26, 2012 6:24 pm 
Mr Braithwaite

Joined: Sun Oct 04, 2009 5:10 am
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Location: Williamstown, NJ
BEtourfan wrote:
Here's a radio review of the show on podcast.
http://www.wypr.org/podcast/12-24-12-bi ... hippodrome


This is a great review, but she also points out something that is not often mentioned in reviews. She says that she attended the opening night in Baltimore with three generations of her family, and they all had something to enjoy. We do not mention enough the universal appeal of BETM to all generations.

The reviewer also suggests that the show host buys tickets for his parents so they can see the show for the fifth time. That makes her one of us, those who think attending Billy Elliot The Musical again and again is appropriate. She should join the forum.


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 Post subject: Re: Baltimore Reviews
PostPosted: Wed Dec 26, 2012 6:27 pm 
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Billy
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BEtourfan wrote:
Here's a radio review of the show on podcast.
http://www.wypr.org/podcast/12-24-12-bi ... hippodrome


LOVED this! And what a nice surprise to hear the DJ say his parents have seen the show 4 times already too. For those of us who keep going time and time again, it's a wonderful reality check to the average theatre-goer out there that seeing a show multiple times is not such an unusual or strange feat! If it's a great show, you SHOULD see it again and again!

Sean

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