Metro Weekly

Billy Elliot at the Kennedy Center

Billy Elliot

Writer Lee Hall, director Stephen Daldry and choreographer Peter Darling reprise their responsibilities adapting the popular 2000 film Billy Elliot, with Hall also penning the lyrics for a catchy score by Elton John. The result is moving material set into brilliant motion. If some of the mechanics of the stage form feel a bit forced — the team favors early showstoppers for characters whose names you’ve barely caught, and movie memories seem to be counted on at times as a form of dramatic shorthand — the overall effect is one of remarkable achievement: sweeping, unforgettable images of riot police alongside tutu-clad girls; of miners disappearing into the earth as their helmets illuminate a hauntingly sparse stage; of a young hero propelling his body in astounding bursts of grief, rage and the unstoppable energy of youth. To Jan. 15, 2012. Kennedy Center Opera House. Tickets are $25 to $150. Call 202-467-4600 or visit

Read Jonathan Padget’s full review here.

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Randy Shulman is Metro Weekly's Publisher and Editor-in-Chief. He can be reached at