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“We’re speaking the language that’s spoken by every single soul that lives on Earth. So that is a very powerful tool. Language is the one thing that separates us more than anything else. Everybody understands dance. We love that about the medium.”. Carney said he also loves the fact that Lightwire Theater awakens audiences — particularly young ones — to creative possibilities. “Eleanor and I don’t have our own children, but we perform to millions of children each year. We have the opportunity to inspire kids to fall in love with art for the first time. That’s a huge deal.”.

Newish musicals have a tendency to make the rounds of local theaters as the rights become available, There’s something encouraging about the fact that one of the current wave of those is a musical about a mid-1980s coal miners’ strike, full of anthemic songs about solidarity and a particularly peppy one mocking former British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher, It probably helps that the main character is an 11-year-old boy who just wants to dance, Winner of 10 Tony Awards including best Musical and Best Book of a Musical, “Billy Elliot the Musical” is a 2005 stage adaptation of the 2000 British movie of the same name ballet shoes walmart (minus “the Musical,” that is), Lee Hall, author of the film’s screenplay, wrote the book and lyrics of the musical, The music is by pop superstar Elton John, whose style is much better suited to this material than his other stage musical that premiered the same year, “Lestat.”..

“Billy Elliot” centers around a boy with a lot of raw natural talent and passion for ballet, a pursuit he only falls into because he stumbles into the wrong class one day after his boxing lesson. To say his father and the other rough-mannered miners of the moribund northern English town are less than supportive of his extracurricular activity would be an understatement. I say “extracurricular” assuming Billy does in fact go to school, though curiously that never comes up in the show, even though his desire to apply to ballet school is a plot point.

For a show about a dance prodigy, you really have to cast a kid that can dance, and Contra Costa Musical Theatre has certainly done that with its production at Walnut Creek’s Lesher Center for the Arts, Virginia-based 14-year-old Braden King, who’s played the role a couple times before, has some wonderful dance sequences in director-choreographer Jennifer Perry’s high-energy staging, He also touchingly ballet shoes walmart captures the character’s withdrawn aimlessness after the death of his mother (a beatific Josselyn O’Neill, who appears to Billy from time to time)..

Lynda DiVito is amusingly blase as dance teacher Mrs. Wilkinson, who’s just going through the motions herding overenthusiastic girls in tutus till Billy startles her with his unexpected aptitude. Vince Perry has a sympathetic journey from gruff antagonism to bewildered devotion as Billy’s dad, while Michael Doppe remains prickly and anger-fueled as older brother Tony. Deborah Black is entertainingly dotty as the Grandma who’s always searching for the stale-at-best baked goods she’s hidden around the house, and 12-year-old Chris Contrares is winningly exuberant as Billy’s cross-dressing buddy Michael.

The songs are an eclectic collection of stirring odes to workers’ collective strength, fluffy confections about just being you and a few touching bittersweet ballads, all deftly played by the unseen orchestra under the direction of Eryn Allen, The cast does well both with the songs and with the thick Northern accents (kudos to dialect coach Lynne Soffer), With warehouse windows and skeletal stairways and catwalks, Kelly James Tighe’s set ballet shoes walmart gives a taste of the bleak surroundings of the mining town..

The story moves along briskly, occasionally a little too much so for some of the emotional moments to have a chance to resonate. But the song-and-dance numbers are packed with a pleasing dose of the old razzle-dazzle, as Mrs. Wilkinson says, especially in the moments where Billy really does need to dazzle us. Contact Sam Hurwitt at, and follow him at By Lee Hall and Elton John, based on the Universal Pictures/Studio Canal film, presented  by Contra Costa Musical Theatre.

Donald Trump’s flamboyant Czech-born first wife Ivana has plenty of opinions, especially on how much credit she believe she deserves for Donald Jr., Ivanka and Eric Trump turning out to be people she regards as remarkably industrious, polite and of high-quality, “I believe the credit for raising such great kids belongs to me,” gushes Ivana in her new memoir, “Raising Trump,” whose focus is mostly on raising her kids amongst fabulous wealth,  after her real ballet shoes walmart estate mogul ex-husband dumped her after 14 years of marriage to marry that “showgirl,” Trump’s mistress Marla Maples..

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