Billy Elliot the Musical

A motherless boy trapped in impoverished County Durham gives up boxing and, against all odds and his miner father, liberates himself through ballet and several songs composed by Elton John. You’ll be considered some kind of child-hater if you don’t leap to your feet at the end of Billy Elliot the Musical, the British-born stage hit that had critics on both sides of the Atlantic embarrassing themselves with superlatives. (Those adverse to uplift be warned: The kid—played by five different actors—actually flies at one point.) The original 2000 movie Billy Elliot, written by Lee Hall (who also provides the musical's book and lyrics), is indelibly moving source material. And who wants to argue with 10 Tony Awards, right? For true theater buffs, this touring production also features another lure: warm, wonderful Faith Prince, a genuine Broadway star ever since she comically wheezed her way through “Adelaide’s Lament” in the famed 1992 revival of Guys and Dolls. She plays Billy’s valiant dance instructor Mrs. Wilkinson, who also teaches his town a lesson in tolerance. And another warning: She might just win over the shameful skeptics, too. (Previews begin March 22; opens March 23; runs through April 3.) STEVE WIECKING

Tue., March 22, 7:30 p.m.; March 23-April 3, 2011

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