Just finished working on the design for a new production of Billy Elliot down in La Mirada. It was a tough show. Lots to do in a little amount of time. This is a new show to me, that I’d never seen before, except for seeing the movie, which… is not the same really (the musical, has… MUSIC). I had downloaded the Original Broadway Cast recording while I was in China, and listened to it off and on while walking to and from the job-site, so I had a little background before diving in, but I needed all the prep time before the show to get myself prepared.
Which brings me to the song “The Letter.” Billy’s dance teacher asks him to bring some things to class that mean something to him, to help her devise a dance around those emotions, etc. Billy brings a letter that his mom had written to him before she died, that he was supposed to open after he turns 18, but, well, he couldn’t wait, and opened it early.
Below is the text of that part of the scene. It kills me, I couldn’t listen to it at all without crying. I’m sure you know why.
TEACHER (spoken, reading from the letter) Dear Billy,
I must seem a distant memory
BILLY (spoken, from memory) Which is…
TEACHER (spoken) Which is probably a good thing
And it will have been a long…
BILLY (spoken) A long time
And I will have missed you growing
And I’ll have missed you crying
And I’ll have missed you laugh
Missed your stamping and your shouting
I’ll have missed telling you off
But please, Billy, know that I was always there
I was with you through everything
And please, Billy,
But please Billy. Know that I will always be
Proud to have known you
Proud that you were mine
Proud in everything
TEACHER & BILLY’S MOTHER (sung)
And you must promise me this, Billy
In everthing you do
Always be yourself.
It goes on, but you get the idea. I can’t finish it here either without my eyes swelling with tears.