Injured Theatergoers Sue Billy Elliot Musical

Richard Lawson · 02/15/11 12:54PM

The Spider-Man crew can breathe a sigh of relief. It seems they're not the only Broadway folks putting people's lives and limbs at risk every time they raise the curtain. Two Kansas City natives are suing the producers of the Broadway musical Billy Elliot, claiming that, while watching the show from the front row, they were both hit by an errant prop and were subsequently hospitalized. They are each suing for $2 million, or roughly two Broadway tickets' worth. (Broadway shows are expensive!) The producers have not yet issued a statement about the lawsuit.

Three Billy Elliots Enter, Only One Leaves

Richard Lawson · 11/14/08 11:54AM

The new Billy Elliot Broadway musical is a sad, soaring little British tart of an evening at the theatre. Well, the content is sad, yes, but the play also ripples with the inherent melancholia of children on stage, specifically young master Elliot. You see, three distinct lads play the north English son of a coal miner who dreams of ballet, but they're protected (and profiled) almost as one. They're the Billy Elliot Borg. But, really, because the world works the lonely way that it does, only one can truly shine. The boy we saw this past week (and the boy who chief New York Times critic Ben Brantley saw) was a fellow named David Alvarez, a beguilingly accented young son of Cuban defectors raised in Québec. He's a revelation in the ballet bits, an angry smear of slight imperfections in his tap, and a multi-culti trilingual 13-year-old trying his best in the show's more dialogue-heavy stretches. We mean to say he's terrific and pure and now well-reviewed by the biggest newspaper in the land and... what about the other two? Will they be forced to forever play catch up? Essentially they're all fighting to become... what? The next Andrea McArdle? What's sad for the fey American boy and the sternly pretty Soviet bloc chap who play Billy in rotation with Alvarez, is that their Cuba-fro'd counterpart has actually already won. They'll all be nominated for Tonys together if they're nominated at all (as is what happened in London and Sydney when the show opened in those cities), they share interview time, and a thick veil of secrecy is kept under which Billy will be going on what night. But still, man. Alvarez bled into his shoes for all the critics, for the all the glory (and the big, pretty Times Arts page photo). The American kid tappa-tappa-tappa'd for the big Opening Night and the blonde comrade performed on The View, but you'll only get that one critics' night. And the rightful son took the mantle that evening. Which makes the show uplifting. And makes the show really, really sad.

To Catch a Theatergoer

Richard Lawson · 04/23/08 12:42PM

Are you a Creepy Creeperson who wants to see three little boys who will soon be dancing around in tutus? Well here you go. (It is also OK to look if you are curious about the soon-to-open Elton John musical Billy Elliot, which is supposed to be great.)