So I was walking by the Paramount and realized that the last weekend for Billy Elliot: The Musical was then and I should probably see it if I wanted to say I'd seen all the musicals between the 5th and the Paramount. It turns out I had missed one early on but I didn't know that at the time.
Going to this was a spur of the moment decision and I was able to get cheap seats at the Paramount (which are not the same at all as cheap seats at the 5th, more on that later). I did no basic research beforehand. I had never seen the movie and I honestly thought it was based on that movie about the kid who was a genius at chess.
Boy was I in for a surprise.
First off, I hated my seat. I'm usually on board with the "whatever you seat you can get is a good seat" philosophy but the cheap seats at the Paramount are truly nosebleed seats where it's difficult to see who's singing and not easy to understand what they're singing about. Add accented English to that and you have me not knowing what was going on for the first two songs of the show.
I did figure out it wasn't about chess.
The kid performers were excellent, as was Billy's dance numbers, and the staging in regards to the strike and the miners' plight was really touching. (although I was still only half sure about what was going on)
I did order the Netflix movie the musical was based on right after, in order to fill in the gaps and found out it was Jamie Bell's big break movie. He's adorable.
I wouldn't call this musical a must-see but it wasn't bad either.