John Szablewski Reviews

Theatre Review: ‘Billy Elliot The Musical’ at Lockport Palace Theatre

The Cast of “Billy Elliot The Musical” at Lockport Palace Theatre.

Societal norms tend to dictate what we as people can and cannot do with our lives. To this day, a person who tries to make a career for themselves in the arts is still looked at as an underachiever, while a person who decides to have a career that possesses no creative necessity is thought of as a success. The norms of society have a huge power over the citizens who reside in it, but I believe that it is those who break these social norms and take their own paths, that are truly the most successful in life. These trailblazers are the ones who make the world a better place.

an admirable effort, bringing together fantastic young and veteran talent.”

“Billy Elliot The Musical” tells the tale of a town that is down on it’s luck. The men in the community have been on strike for a last year from the mine. They try to wear the unions down by striking and taking down scabs that cross the picket line, but find a great deal of difficulty providing for their families. The Elliot family is in the thick of it as well. Young Billy (Seth Judice) takes weekly boxing classes, but does not have a real knack for it. He’s small, he’s petite, he isn’t really built for a boxer’s life. After staying late after one class, Billy is introduced to Mrs. Wilkinson’s (Lisa Ludwig) ballet class. When Billy shows great potential in being a dance, he starts honing his skills. After two months of lessons, and winning over the approval of his father (Geoff Koplas), Billy auditions for a spot in the Royal Ballet Company school.

Leading the show as the child dancing prodigy is Seth Judice. Judice instantly wins the audience over as the ‘everyman’ in this piece. His dancing abilities will put you in awe at the amazing movement that he is able to bring to the stage. His performance of “Electricity” makes you want to jump to your feet and cheer. He is perfectly cast as the lead in this show, and does not disappoint.

Lisa Ludwig brings a great comic performance to her portrayal of Mrs. Wilkinson. Ludwig is able to play the uptight ballet instructor, and then with the flip of a switch, delivers a maternal performance that is full of heart, compassion, and love. Ludwig is a high point of the production.

Geoff Koplas plays the conflicted single father, Jackie Elliot, well. He brings a great sense of pride, pain, and love to the role, and his character possesses the strongest character arch in the show. You feel for him as he tries to support his family by breaking his morals and crossing the picket line to earn for his family.

Backing up the principle players is a great ensemble that assists in creating a wonderful night of theatre.

Since the show takes place in a small english town, the cast performs with the necessary accents. Accents are always tricky because they can make or break a performance. Overall, the accents in this production are easily understood, but at times you really need to pay close attention or some of the lines and dialogue will be missed.

Under the baton of David C. Stacey, the orchestra performs the wonderful score by Elton John. The orchestra is always one of my favorite parts of seeing a live performance at the Lockport Palace, because their attention to detail allows for a wonderful musical experience for all!

The Curtain Up Production’s presentation of “Billy Elliot The Musical” is an admirable effort, bringing together fantastic young and veteran talent. Director Christopher Prada mounts a production that moves nicely, and entertains fully, all the while displaying wonderful production value.

Running Time: Approximately 2 Hours 30 Minutes with one 15 Minute Intermission.

Advisory: Some Adult Language

“Billy Elliot The Musical” runs until July 23, 2017 and is presented at the Lockport Palace Theatre in Lockport. For more information, click here.