Prominent on the set is a huge electronic screen that sits catawampusly askew, adding visual imagery to the interpretation of each number. That shattered glass is depicted in this seemly innocent scene of a child at play seems to be a harbinger of things to come in Elton's life.
Both Elton Fan and his entourage go through costume changes on every song. The chorus of androgynously portrayed dancers often wear skin-tight leotards and bowler hats, or appear provocatively in various states of undress. In some scenes, male dancers appear in full out drag with outfits that seem to be taken right out of "Priscilla Queen of the Desert". Elton Fan's flamboyant wardrobe ranges from cowboy hat and chaps to circus master to Louis XIV-esque wig and robes. At one point he is playing at the piano wearing a crown and royal red cape.
The dancing styles are varied including everything from traditional ballet pirouettes, twirls and leaps, to Bob Fosse-esque jazz moves (hence the bowler hats) to tap and break dancing.
Though I don't usually like dance or ballet, I was enthralled by this show. The familiar songs with lyrics that were brilliantly reflective of the storyline, the innovative dance moves and the amazing costumes all made this a thoroughly entertaining experience. The more conservative people in the audience had to brace themselves for the overt homosexual components (revealing costumes, gay embraces and kissing), but should have known what they were getting into when attending an "Elton John based ballet". Our show, which was the premiere, was dedicated to the Toronto Gay Straight Alliance who were in attendance in full force judging from the huge roar of approval.
A filming of the show will be broadcast on CBC on April 9, 2012, 9pm. I have this marked on my calendar and look forward to seeing it again!