Maltz Jupiter Theatre will launch the regional premiere of “Billy Elliot The Musical” on Tuesday, Dec. 1, running through Sunday, Dec 20.
“We are ecstatic to be the first regional theatre in Florida to produce the Tony Award-winning Broadway smash hit ‘Billy Elliot The Musical,’” said Andrew Kato, the Theatre’s producing artistic director and chief executive. “The Maltz Jupiter Theatre’s production is a completely reimagined “Billy Elliot,” with reconceived choreography, a newly-conceptualized design and one of our largest and most joyous casts to date.”
“Billy Elliot The Musical” with music by Elton John and book and lyrics by Lee Hall premiered in London’s West End in 2005 opening later in New York and Australia. It wracked up four Laurence Olivier Awards (UK); ten Tony Awards (US); ten Drama Desk Awards (US); and seven Helpmann Awards(AU).
As most SFGN readers probably know, the musical is set in northern England in 1984 during a work stoppage in the area’s mines. Billy Elliot is an 11-year old whose mother is deceased leaving him to grow up with his father and older brother, both miners; neither enamored of the arts. When he discovers ballet he becomes passionately engaged in dance studies surreptitiously under the tutelage of the local dance instructor.
“There are two plot lines threading through the musical,” said director Matt Lenz, who won the 2014 Carbonell for Best Play for the Maltz production of “The Foreigner.” “There’s the miner’s strike which is dark and gritty and then there’s Billy Elliot’s story of self discovery and learning to be comfortable in his own skin.”
“I’m focusing more on the discovery aspect,” Lenz continued. “When Billy’s family and neighbors learn of his hidden talent, almost everyone rallies together to send him to the Royal Ballet School.”
“Remember,” Lenz continued. “Billy told his friend Michael that ‘I’m not a poof’ even while recognizing the potential for social stigma associated with a male dancer.”
According to Lenz, this is a completely new production that will only be seen at the Maltz so theatre goers should find it appealing even if they’ve seen the movie or the Broadway production.
They will also be treated to brand new choreography by Greg Graham who was dance captain and later the resident choreographer for the Broadway production. “Greg has created all new ballet, jazz and tap numbers specifically for this cast,” said Lenz. “And the dancers are looking great.”
Lenz also noted how the representational set designed by Carbonell-nominated scenic designer Rob Odorisio supports his new direction.
Lenz comes to the Maltz from New York City where he lives with his partner of 13 years, actor Nicholas Rodriguez. “We both travel a lot but we’ve learned to make it work,” he said, noting that they both like South Florida and visit often.
Lenz professes his love for working at the Maltz praising Andrew Kato for keeping a strong professionalism while creating a sense of family among all the disciplines.
“People are just happy to be part of the place,” he said.”
Tickets start at $55 and can be purchased online at www.jupitertheatre.org or by calling the box office at 561-575-2223. Two special engagements are also available for youth to attend the musical at significant discounts. Call the box office for further details.