Thursday, June 24, 2010

the next billy elliot

A couple of Sundays ago, Ignacio, my mom, and I took my 6 year-old nephew, Cooper, to see Billy Elliot. Even though the show is recommended for 8 and older, I thought Cooper would be okay because he really likes to dance and sing. He even asked to take dance class which I wrote about here.

The show was amazing, and made even better because Cooper sat on my lap the entire time (in order to see better) and I got the unique perspective of seeing this show through the eyes of a 6 year-old boy seeing his first Broadway in Chicago show.

Cooper asked A LOT of questions during the entire show. When the show opened, he said, “It’s real!” I think he was expecting to see a movie rather than real live human beings on the stage.

For those of you who may not be familiar with Billy Elliot, it is the story of a young boy growing up with his widower father and grandmother in a poor mining town in England. Billy happens into ballet class, loves it, and excels in it. His father disapproves of his son taking ballet lessons, and is also on strike from his mining job.

Cooper asked:

“Is Billy Elliot real?”

“What is a strike?”

“Why are they fighting?”

“Is he a bad guy?”

“Is the grandma evil, cuz she just gave the finger to God?”

“Why is Billy so mad?”

“Is his mom alive again?” (he didn’t understand that the woman playing Billy’s mom, while alive on stage, was really just an angel of sorts)

Great questions, right?
Cooper was bopping/dancing on my lap right along with Billy. The best part of the show came at the end when Cooper said:

“I wanna be Billy Elliot.”

When Anessa, my sister-in-law, came to pick him up from my house the next morning, Cooper was telling her about the show and how his favorite part was when Billy was dancing when he was angry.

Anessa asked, "Why was Billy angry?"
Cooper replied, "Because his dad wouldn't let him take ballet."
Anessa asked, "What would you do if your dad wouldn't let you take ballet?"
Cooper said, "My dad wouldn't do that, and if I did, I would take it anyway."

And, here is Cooper the next week showing off his moves (you’ll have to tilt your head, his dad took the movie).

Cooper dancing
click on the link


  1. How fun!
    We get TONS of questions from the boys. It's one of the most amazing things about kids, to see their brains work. Last night it was a lot of questions about how long Jon and I will be married.

  2. I love the video-What a great Auntie you are!

  3. The show moved me more than I expected when I saw it on Broadway. Tell Cooper that you have a friend who has met the guy who played Billy Elliott on Broadway AND the real life person on whom the story of Billy Elliott was based.

    Lucky Cooper to be raised in a loving, open and supportive family. I wish I had an Aunt Natalie when I was growing up...

    Don Pietranczyk

  4. This is such a great post that it made me cry! But a happy cry, not the ugly Oprah cry. So cute and so nice and I know exactly what you mean about watching it through the child's eyes' - that's the best part. :)
    Cool dance moves Cooper!! He and Trey can rock out at the next family event! I too LOVED Billy Elliott they were/are wonderful.

  5. "...cuz she just gave the finger to God?" OMG. My stomach hurts from laughing. That's fantastic.