Standing O for Billy Elliot

The Times' Ben Brantley has nothing but applause for the musical "Billy Elliot," which opened on Broadway last night. The play, which is based on the movie, may sound rather sentimental—it's about a coalminer's son who loves ballet—but this production turns "tripe into triumph by making us understand the depth of the appeal of its classic show-business fairy tale, not only to us but also to the people whose dreary daily existences touch on Billy's." Elton John's score is "far more restrained than his more mawkish scores for Disney musicals." And the economic downturn "gives it a resonance it might not have had in 2005, when big spenders ruled with complacency. Billy Elliot is a hard-times musical."