Where else can this Anglophone in Montréal get his Broadway Musical fix? Not that musicals don’t exist in Montreal, but when they do, they usually involve a bus and truck tour of a tired old chestnut that is mediocre at best. Or, such shows as Chicago that I’ve seen a number of times – loved it, but after seeing Gwen Verdun and Chita Rivera in the roles of Roxie and Vera, well…
There’s the French scaled down version of Fiddler on the Roof - Un violon sur le toit - directed by Denise Filiatrault who has become synonymous with mounting Québecois versions of Broadway Musicals. Other than that and a few revues, pickings are pretty slim as they were in my hometown, Moncton when seeing a musical meant catching whatever crumb of Broadway number on the Ed Sullivan Show. Or much later, on the Rosie O’Donnell show (before she got testy).
Nope, now it’s all about scouring Youtube videos for snippets of classic performances; hard to find among the countless high school productions.
But apart for the incredible entertainment value of the show (my hubby is totally rolling his eyes), this year, we have a Montreal born actor up for the Tony in the best performance category: David Alvarez. All three Billy’s are; he’s joined by Trent Kowalik and Kiril Kulish.
Montreal's Billy Elliot star among Tony Award contenders
David Alvarez in Dress rehearsal for Billy Elliot Pt 1
David Alvarez in Dress rehearsal for Billy Elliot Pt 2
As a young kid who felt like an alien growing up gay and “theatrical” in a city far removed from the romantic allure of Broadway, I certainly relate to the story of Billy Elliot. Although, like most, real life didn’t play out like a “great big Broadway show!”.
So, come Sunday, I’ll be enjoying the show and reliving for a couple of hours my youthful dream of being a contender.
AND, I can’t wait to see Every Little Step, the documentary about the remounting of A Chorus Line
“Every Little Step explores the incredible journey of A Chorus Line from an ambitious idea to international phenomenon. It compares and contrasts the original musical with the current revival…an revealing the dramatic journey of the performers…unfolding a story of life imitating art.”
Every Little Step - trailer