‘Billy Elliot’ ignites the Riverwalk Center stage | SummitDaily.com

‘Billy Elliot’ ignites the Riverwalk Center stage

This Friday, Aug. 25, is the kickoff of "Billy Elliot, The Musical" at the Riverwalk Center. The international smash-hit musical makes its Colorado mountain premiere courtesy of Breckenridge Backstage Theatre performing at the Riverwalk Center from now until Sept. 3. Set in a northern English mining town against the background of the 1984 miners' strike, "Billy Elliot" is the inspirational story of a young boy's struggle against the odds to make his dream come true. It is a time when Prime Minister Thatcher's politics polarized the country, when upper and middle class divisions grew and a sense of deadening uniformity was creeping across the commonwealth.

"'Billy Elliot' is more relevant today than it ever has been as a story about a community in crisis, a politically shifting country, a lingering state of inequality, and the need for people to support and invest in their own diversity," says director Christopher Willard. "The show is an emotional journey of a boy's struggle to find his place in the world and to learn how to be himself."

Our own country is experiencing a similar polarizing leadership and an increased class and ethnic divide.

"Now, more than ever, art and the power it wields, is necessary in lifting us out of a dark time," said Willard. "We need to give our future Billys the chance to discover their gifts and nurture that talent to give it a chance to shine."

A dance teacher finds a diamond in the rough when she discovers Billy: a young boy with a passion for dance who inspires the whole community. After an extensive search, the theater found its Billy in Lucas Moir, a 14-year-old dancing and singing sensation from Greeley who was recently seen as Ralphie in the MidTown Arts production of "A Christmas Story, The Musical." Also starring in the production is Megan Van De Hey as Billy's beleaguered dance instructor, Mrs. Wilkinson.

The rest of the cast includes Robert Michael Sanders, Debbie Minter, Caleb Reed, Rachel Van Scoy, Brody Lineaweaver, Summer Krueger, Jared Mazurek, Richard Meyer, Andrew Baites, Jon Hans, Lukin Ascher, Saskia Martin- Williams, Mimi Mocatta, Hailey Pfeifer, Melanie Walker, Nicole Walker, Leah Wilson, Mikaela Clark, Dave Cope, Beth Fisk, Maggie Fisk, Randi Garber, Grant Gonzalez, Ian Hans, Lisa Hans, Foster Krueger, Cole Mitchell, Addison Olson, Tara Olson, Brandon Phelps, Augie Reichert, Dunie Righter, Lauren Russell and James Williard. The performance stars 23 locals.

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"The end-of-summer Riverwalk productions are typically populated with a large majority of actors from our area, so this is the community's chance to see your local banker, ski shop owner, Summit Stage driver, fellow student, etc., up on stage putting on a big, entertaining Broadway-style show in a big venue with big production values," said Willard.

"Billy Elliot, The Musical" plays at the Riverwalk Center in Breckenridge at 7 p.m. on Aug. 25, 26, Sept. 1 and 2. The Aug. 27 performance is a 2 p.m. matinee. The final performance on Sept. 3, is at 6 p.m. Tickets are on sale now and available by calling the Breck Create box office at 970-547-3100, online at BreckCreate.org, or by visiting the Riverwalk Center box office.

IF YOU GO:

What: “Billy Elliot, The Musical”

When: Aug. 25- Sept. 3

Where: The Riverwalk Center, Breckenridge

Cost: $15-35

More information: BackstageTheatre.org