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Hangar Theatre in Ithaca performs 'Billy Elliot: The Musical'

"Billy Elliot: The Musical" runs at the Hangar Theatre.
Rachel Philipson
"Billy Elliot: The Musical" runs at the Hangar Theatre.

The show Billy Elliot: The Musical runs until July 15 at the Hangar Theatre in Ithaca.

The musical was based on the 2000 British movie Billy Elliot, which was directed by Stephen Daldry and written by Lee Hall. The story begins in North East England in the beginning of the 1984–85 coal miners' strike. During this time, boys began boxing until they go into the mines as adults and girls strictly stick to ballet. Billy Elliot is a young boy who just lost his mother. He discovers a passion for dance and begins to take lessons.

Jim Ballard, plays Jackie Elliot, a coal miner and Billy’s father. Ballard said his character is proud but lost after his wife unexpectedly died and he learns how to raise his son without her.

“It's a very heartwarming musical,” Ballard said. “It hits you right in the heart. It's about a father and son. Anything on fathers and sons pulls at my heartstrings.”

Hugo Lloyd, a student at Boynton Middle School in Ithaca, plays Billy Elliot. When talking of his favorite scene, Lloyd said that the writing and the wording is “really beautiful.” Lloyd, who has been taking ballet since the spring of 2019 said he can relate to Billy’s experience with ballet.

“Sometimes, I felt like I didn't belong there or I was not meant to be there,” Lloyd said. “But then people helped me in the community and I kept going and I loved it.”

The Hangar Theatre’s cast only had two and a half weeks of rehearsals before tech rehearsals, when the show is run with all stage pieces, props, and costumes, according to Production Stage Manager Mackenzie Trowbridge.

Trowbridge said the director and stage manager had a very specific relationship and work together to make sure the “train is always moving forward.”

“I know the director, Courtney Young, is really passionate about the show; it's been a dream of hers for a really long time,” Trowbridge said.

Courtney Young, director and associate professor of theater and dance performance at Ithaca College, said that she has been wanting to be a part of Billy Elliot: The Musical since 2010, when she was hired to tour as a resident choreographer and understudy before the show closed.

“It is about one child’s dream and against all odds he is able to fulfill those dreams,” Young said. “We can all relate to having a dream and fighting against all odds to achieve our dreams.”

Billy Elliot: The Musical runs as a mainstage production at the Hangar Theater and closes on July 15.