The one thing you should see this week: a musical about a boy who just wanted to dance

The one thing you should see this week: a musical about a boy who just wanted to dance

Cesar Corrales as Billy (Image: Joan Marcus) 

This week’s pick: Billy Elliot

The producers of Billy Elliot owe the National Ballet of Canada Canada’s National Ballet School a debt of gratitude. Three out of the four boys playing Billy in the Toronto production have trained there, including 14-year-old Cesar Corrales, who stunned the opening night audience last week with his technique, stamina and sweet ferocity. The dance is the thing in this show about a blue-collar kid who trades his boxing gloves for ballet shoes during the 1984 miners’ strike in Britain.

Elton John, who has never been accused of fading into the background, composed the music. But you don’t leave the theatre humming any one song (or any song, really), unless it was written by the suddenly inescapable Tchaikovsky and featured in a Swan Lake pas de deux between Billy and his older self. Instead, you leave replaying the “Angry Dance,” which begins with Billy throwing a tantrum in his bedroom and ends with him smashing up against cops in riot gear. It’s the musical’s best number: a perfect combination of bluster, boyishness and Broadway.

The details: To July 10. $36–$130. Canon Theatre, 244 Victoria St., 416-872-1212, mirvish.com.