Ensemble Theatre of Chattanooga closes its 2019 season with the Broadway hit "Billy Elliot: The Musical," based on the popular motion picture of the same name. The musical will be presented in six performances beginning Friday, Dec. 13, at Barking Legs Theater.
Billy is the son of a mining family, who struggles in lessons only to discover dance. While his father, brother and the rest of the miners union strike against mining companies, Billy struggles to find acceptance in his new passion.
Drawing inspiration from a trio of unlikely women (his dead mother, his senile grandmother and an acerbic ballet instructor), Billy's journey mirrors the same determination of the union; and through Billy, the audience learns to appreciate potential and embrace compromise in order to find a path to success.
"The music is powerful and emotive, playful and catchy, but rife with meaning," says director Garry Lee Posey.
"What is so fantastic about this show, for me, is that you have this heavy, dirty underworld of miners juxtaposed with the finesse and artistry of a dance. You have tradition and expectation juxtaposed with hope and change. At the apex of these juxtapositions sits a child, not knowing where to focus but determined to blur the lines defining those differences," Posey describes.
If you go
* What: “Billy Elliot”
* Where: Barking Legs Theater, 1307 Dodds Ave.
* When: 7:30 p.m. Dec. 13-14, 19-21; 2:30 p.m. Dec. 15
* Admission: $20, $17 students and senior adults
* For more information: https://www.ensembletheatreofchattanooga.com/now-playing
In the title role is Dalton, Georgia, native and ETC newcomer Ellis Stephens, a student at Dalton Middle School.
Joining Ellis is ETC newcomer Dennis Parker as Billy's father and Kendra Gross as his deceased mother. Marianna Allen is ballet teacher Mrs. Wilkinson, and Brenda Schwab is Billy's grandmother.
Rounding out the cast are Fields Thomas, Roxanne Gibson, Caelen Austin, Jake Zachery, Kal McClure, Russ Kerr, Tristan Haugh, Josie Julienne, Libby Weaver, Marley Kilgore, Henley Green, Cody Keown, Rodney Strong, Joseph Watts, Eric "Red" Wyatt, Callie Coplen, Megan Smith, Alyssa Whitesell and Jordan Bennett.
Fallon Garret is the show's choreographer. John Thomas McCecil is the music director.
For more information: 423-987-5141.