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Baltimore Reviews
http://www.billyelliottheforum.me.uk/forum/viewtopic.php?f=89&t=3965
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Author:  Mactor17 [ Thu Dec 27, 2012 7:34 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Baltimore Reviews

This is my first time posting, but not my first time seeing the show :)
I saw both performances in Baltimore on Wednesday. The 2:00 show was wonderful. Ben is an amazing Billy and is a true professional in singing, dancing, and acting. There is nothing I could add to what others have posted about Ben. A few stand outs to me are Samantha Cutler as Debbie. She has truly nailed what I believe the character should be. Rich Hebert as dad is outstanding. I really enjoy his "Deep Into the Ground," a song I often could have done without on Broadway. A surprise for me was how much I enjoyed Joel Blum's George. He had me entertained and I already knew what he was going to say. Lastly, I saw Jake Kitchen as Michael. He played the part much more subdued than I have ever seen a Michael play the part. I felt like it worked brilliantly. As much I enjoyed every Michael I have seen, Jake seemed to be the most real in the character.

The night performance was even better. The audience seemed to really be into this performance. I saw Noah as Billy. He has really grown into the role since I last saw him in Boston over the summer. He is a very different Billy then Ben is. Noah seems younger and plays the part with a bit more vulnerability. This is a major reason I enjoy seeing multiple shows so close together. Both Noah and Ben played the character differently, but were both equally brilliant. Sam Poon played Michael. His dancing was great, but I am not sure I truly enjoyed his acting in this role. The tour cast, although very different from when I saw it in Boston, is still outstanding. The new ballet girls seem to be having fun and continue to "shine." My only complaint of the tour cast is Cullen Titmas's Tony.
I am already looking to a few more shows this weekend.

Billy: Joseph 3.25, Ben 3, Noah 2, Kyland 2, Julian 1.25, Tade 1.25, Michael 1, Peter .5
Michaels: Cameron 5.5, Jack 2.5, Ethan 2, Ben 1, Keean 1, Jake 1, Sam 1

Author:  porschesrule [ Thu Dec 27, 2012 9:25 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Baltimore Reviews

Thank you for sharing your thoughts on the show in Baltimore, Mactor17, and welcome to posting on the Forum -- I hope that post is just the first of many from you.

Author:  ERinVA [ Thu Dec 27, 2012 10:39 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Baltimore Reviews

Welcome to posting on the forum Mactor17. I see that you joined a couple of months ago. Glad you finally decided to post. :D

Thanks for your review of the show in Baltimore. I would be interested to know what you didn't like about Cullen Titmas's performance as Tony. I know that people have said he is too old for the part, and I can certainly see that argument. In fact, it has been an ongoing complaint about many of the actors chosen to play Tony. But I personally found that once I got past that small hurdle and just went with things as they were presented to me, I actually liked Cullen's version of Tony quite well, and indeed better than some others I have seen.

Author:  Mactor17 [ Thu Dec 27, 2012 11:19 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Baltimore Reviews

Yes, he just seems too old and I am not a fan of his delivery of many of the lines.

Author:  CJ-Rochester [ Fri Dec 28, 2012 3:00 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Baltimore Reviews

Welcome Mactor17 and thanks for the enjoyable review!

Mactor17 wrote:
This is a major reason I enjoy seeing multiple shows so close together. Both Noah and Ben played the character differently, but were both equally brilliant.

Yes this is exactly what many of us have discovered for ourselves. With support from others on this forum we realize it is not so weird to want to see the show multiple times. :P
-Chris

Author:  maria [ Fri Dec 28, 2012 3:23 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Baltimore Reviews

Thursday, December 27, 2012

Drew as Billy, Jake as Michael, Sam as TB/PB

So, a spontaneous last minute decision to see Billy again gave me my second opportunity to see Drew in action.

My one word summary of Drew's Billy is "earnest." He is intense and focused throughout - a kid who has discovered something about himself and is trying very hard to nurture it against many odds. Drew pulls it off beautifully. This time, I sat closer to the stage, and was able to observe facial expressions, and Drew is full of wonderful expressions! I was particularly impressed with his Electricity - sung with great feeling - and like he was really thinking hard and trying to put into words what it felt like when he was dancing. And his dancing was spectacular - Electricity started with one of those gravity defying aerials. And his timing was perfect in all the dances - he nailed all the endings - beautifully fluid dancing - wow!!! I am also most impressed with his accent. Once again, the BE team has found a great talent! A couple more thoughts on his performance - during Grandma's song, he plays it more seriously, like he is really listening to the meaning behind the words - the hard life she has lived. Although he smiles some at certain moments, it is more like he is just taking it all in - very moving, actually - hard to describe. I remember one other Billy who played it more seriously (Cesar Corrales in Chicago). But then we get to see Drew's fun side as well in a fabulous Express with Jake and in the finale. Great show, all around!

The rest of the BE cast were fabulous as always! And what a joy to see Tim Funnel back - I love him so, and he is such a wonderful connection to the original London show!

A couple of more shows to go this weekend to round out a fabulous stay in Baltimore!

Author:  angelenroute [ Fri Dec 28, 2012 3:33 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Baltimore Reviews

Mactor17 wrote:
My only complaint of the tour cast is Cullen Titmas's Tony.


Welcome to the forum and thanks for the reviews!!! I fear I beat up on poor Cullen too much on here, but I personally agree and find his delivery of lines too choppy as well. I think he has the part nailed and knows his character well, but I've never been a fan of his acting. It seems the forum is divided on that one though, as many love his performance. Obviously the audiences always cheer loudly for him, so that's what matters most! =)

Author:  kport [ Fri Dec 28, 2012 4:11 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Baltimore Reviews

angelenroute wrote:
Mactor17 wrote:
My only complaint of the tour cast is Cullen Titmas's Tony.


Welcome to the forum and thanks for the reviews!!! I fear I beat up on poor Cullen too much on here, but I personally agree and find his delivery of lines too choppy as well. I think he has the part nailed and knows his character well, but I've never been a fan of his acting. It seems the forum is divided on that one though, as many love his performance. Obviously the audiences always cheer loudly for him, so that's what matters most! =)


I have to say I like his take; then again, I liked the different take on the role by Michael Peavoy. He was especially good at the opening of the second act, and always related to the audience, especially us front-row crowd. In my humble opinion, the variety of interpretations taken by cast members is part of what keeps BETM fresh for me.

(I see that Michael Peavoy is still listed under Current Cast - UK. Should he be moved to Former Cast-UK?)

Author:  ERinVA [ Fri Dec 28, 2012 4:27 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Baltimore Reviews

Yes, he should. Thanks for the reminder. :D

Author:  Mactor17 [ Sun Dec 30, 2012 7:47 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Baltimore Reviews

My final two performances of seeing Billy Elliot in 2012 started Friday night. It was my first time seeing Mitchell play Billy. He was a bit more playful in his portrayal verses any other Billy I have seen, especially during Express and while packing his suitcase with dad. He has a pleasant singing voice and is a truly a professional dancer. It is clear he is new to the role, especially when listening to his accent. I know the lines and I struggled to understand what he was saying I am truly looking forward to seeing his growth in the role when I visit the show in Connecticut this June.

Saturday afternoon was probably my favorite of all 4 shows I saw this past week. It might have been because I had the best seat of the four shows, but it also might have been the performance by Ben as Billy. It was clear he had a cheering section at this performance due to the crazy amount of screaming when his name was introduced pre-show. Ben deserved all the applause and screaming he gets. Having seen the show so many times, I am really able to focus on specifics and little nuances. Ben is always in character and makes clear choices as to how he will portray the character. One of my favorite lines of Bens are "you don't fancy me, do you miss?" He almost makes it sound like everyone does and he is relieved when Mrs. W. says no. Brionna Trilling did a wonderful speech at the end of the show looking for donations for Actor's Equality Fighting Aids." She persuaded me to buy a signed Billy poster by stating they are trying to out donate the Annie orphans. She also mentioned it was Madison Barnes 900th show. What a major accomplishment. Congrats Maddie.

Billy: Ben 4, Joseph 3.25, , Noah 2, Kyland 2, Julian 1.25, Tade 1.25, , Michael 1, Mitchell, Peter .5
Michaels: Cameron 5.5, Jack 2.5, Ethan 2, Sam 2, Jake 2, Ben 1, Keean 1

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