The Playgoer: Billy Elliot: The Dissent

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Thursday, June 30, 2005

Billy Elliot: The Dissent

From John Lahr, of all people. Anglophile and generally forgiving critic that he is, still cannot abide the new London (and, no doubt, B'way-bound) hit:

When a story gets at something elemental in the dream life of its audience—here it’s the longing to discover your desire and to seize your destiny—narrative vulgarities are often overlooked. This, it seems to me, explains how a show with a mawkish, melodramatic book, and without a single memorable melody or lyric, could have worked its way so deeply into the public imagination.
Ouch! (Take that, Brantley!) On that rare occasion Lahr doesn't like something, he can be ruthless. But the man's thorough intelligence and good taste is enough to raise doubts. (I mean, Elton John. What were we thinking...)

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