Billy Elliot | Drury Lane Oakbrook Terrace | Theater & Performance | Chicago Reader
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Rhett Guter and Nicholas Dantes

Rhett Guter and Nicholas Dantes

brett beiner photography 2015

When: Wednesdays-Sundays. Continues through June 7 2015
Price: $52.50-$67.50
In the beginning there was Lee Hall's movie about a British miner's son who finds his bliss in ballet during the grim coal strike of 1984. Then Hall and Elton John collaborated on a stage version that became a hit, running in various official productions around the world. (A national touring company came here in 2010.) Now individual theaters can license the material, which is what the folks at Drury Lane did before wisely handing it over to director Rachel Rockwell. Unfettered by the need to replicate the original, Rockwell has come up with a show that's both strong in the fundamentals and full of surprises. Also, saturated with engaging performances by such locally harvested talents as Susie McMonagle, Ron E. Rains, and Maureen Gallagher. Kyle Halford and Nicholas Dantes trade off as Billy; I saw the long-limbed Dantes and was amazed at the clarity of his dancing. But the subversive star of the piece is nine-year-old Zachary Uzarraga, whom Rockwell uses as a kind of imp of mischief, not unlike Billy Barty in Gold Diggers of 1933. —Tony Adler



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