BILLY ELLIOT THE MUSICAL (PANTAGES): 84% – SWEET

Ty Forhan (Billy), Leah Hocking (Mrs. Wilkinson), Samantha Blaire Cutler (Debbie) and the cast of "Billy Elliot the Musical." Credit: Kyle Froman.

SWEET
This irresistible show is an expertly crafted, well-oiled pleasure machine designed to make you feel exactly the way you want to feel at a musical: awed, tearful, warm of heart, slightly sheepish about loving it so much and grateful that everybody around you is cheering just as hard.
Margaret Gray – LA Times

SWEET
But I don’t much care. The storytelling is surefooted and elegant. We believe everything people say, everything they feel, and everything they do.
Samuel Bernstein – Stage and Cinema

SWEET
Despite this background, this boy had to undergo months if not years of training to give the kind of brilliant performance he gave on opening night. He earned several standing ovations, even in the middle of the show.
Robert Machray – Blog Critics

SWEET
Billy’s haunting 11th-hour ballad, “Electricity,” is the heart of what makes this show work, despite the production’s inherent sentimentality. As Billy explained why he must dance to auditors at a tryout for the Royal Ballet School, Forhan succeeded in bringing a lump to the throat of this hardened critic of musical theater. “I can’t really explain it,” Billy sings to the darkened house. “I suppose it’s like forgetting, losing who you are/And at the same time, something makes you whole.” There is no better or more concise description of the enigmatic drive that makes people need to follow the challenges of a life in the arts.
Travis Michael Holder – Backstage

SWEET
“Billy Elliot” is that successful tuner that captivates us despite music, by Elton John, that never enhances the action or deepens our commitment to the characters.
Robert Hofler – Variety

SWEET
Based on the uplifting and inspiring movie of the same name, also directed by Stephen Daldry in 2000, the stage version brings the Brit’s sarcastic humor and working-class crustiness and mixes it with high art, superb dancing by the young cast, and enough toe-tapping songs by Elton John and glitzy dance numbers to qualify it as Broadway spectacular.
Kelly Hargraves – Campus Circle

SWEET
The national touring production of Billy Elliot has finally arrived in Los Angeles for the first time where it will sit down for a month at the beautiful Pantages Theatre in Hollywood. If only it would stay longer.
Ellen Dostal – Musicals in LA

BITTER
The movie was a small and tenderhearted story. The musical, with the input of John’s music, slathers the movie’s jewel-like essence with layers of sediment and sentiment until it has the emotional agility of a boulder. The humor is overplayed. The sentimentality, in scenes between Billy and his late mother, simply cloys.
Steven Leigh Morris – LA Weekly

SWEET
Well, I finally did and I must say, it is a marvelous musical, mostly due to the dancing and wonderful cast.
Carol Kaufman Segal – Reviewplays

BITTERSWEET
Don’t get me wrong, Billy Elliot will make audiences stand up and cheer for the sheer nature of watching a young boy dazzle with his footwork. And there is charm to spare along with ingenious and detailed set design by Edward Pierce and lovely ballet sequences by choreographer Peter Darling. With a few nips and tucks this could be a solid show, but I guess as it has already proven itself to be a success, that is a moot point.
Kevin P. Taft – Frontiers

BILLY ELLIOTT THE MUSICAL
Pantages Theatre
6233 Hollywood Blvd., L.A.
8 p.m. Tuesdays through Fridays. 2 and 8 p.m. Saturdays. 1 and 6:30 p.m. Sundays
Ends May 13, 2012
Tickets: (800) 982-2727
Running time: 3 hours

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LemonMeter About the Author: We don’t “review” shows here at the Lemon, rather we "review" reviews by gathering them from a variety of local review sites around the internet, judging them to be positive or negative, then forming an aggregate score that we call a LEMONMETER RATING, showing how well that show has been reviewed in total. For more detail on how the LemonMeter works visit here.

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