By Kathy Carpenter
Wow! Did ten year old Charlie Garton deliver or what? Noe everyone loves the story of Billy Elliot – but everyone loved the dynamic performance from young Garton. An inspirational, heartwarming, bring your tissues, kind of story.
Billy Elliot The Musical is playing downtown San Diego at the beautiful historic Speckles Theatre. The award winning play with music from Elton John, is the story of eleven year old Billy who find his passion, Ballet. Unheard of in those times.. The town he lives in is a small England town, in the late forties early fifties. Everyone works in the mines, and the workers go on strike. But even after a year on strike they come together to support Billy. To give the boy a chance at his dream, to have a better life, and get out of the no-win situation they are in.
Charlie Garton, plays Billy. What a star. Not only could he dance and sing, the job he did with the English accent remarkable, Charlie Garton definitely someone to watch. Mackernan Jarman played Billy’s little friend Michael, and while not a fan of the role young Michael played, he did a wonderful job. Doug Tomkins, played his father. A tough role done nicely. Joy Yandell played his ballet teacher. Putting forth a totally believable performance. Alexandra Gonzaleas brought us the humor as lovable old grandma. Luke Monday, portrayed the brother with a chip on his shoulder perfectly. Standing up for Billy when it counter. One more mention, Morgan Carberry, played Billy’s dead mum. A memory with a beautiful voice.
The cast 37 members strong Including several young girls, who played the Ballet class. Adding the cuteness factor to the show. One of my favorite elements was the when the cops performed in unison.
Another magical moment and my favorite of the show was when Billy danced a ballet with a shadow dancer. Such a beautiful, lyrical dance from both dancers.
Fifteen song played flawlessly by the Billy Elliot orchestra conducted by Don LeMaster.
The language is a bit rough. At first you say did he say what I thought he said, They do. Some of the patrons had a problem with this, but it goes with authenticity of the times and environment.
This not quite the story from the movie. Expect changes. But come out to see live theatre. San Diego Musical Theatre puts out performances you will not soon forget.
One last note. San Diego Musical Theatre has the You give We give program for each play. Where cast members gather donations at the end of the show. No donation us too small. The show they are teamed with ARTS – A reason to Survive.ARTS is a local non profit that supports young people 11 -22 in realizing their full potential through creativity.