Stars of 'Billy Elliot' talk about how the musical relates to real life

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TEMPE, Ariz. -- The show has been called one of the “Best on Broadway!” TIME Magazine dubbed it "the best musical of the decade." Set against the historic British miners’ strike of the 1980s,“Billy Elliot: The Musical,” is about one boy’s journey to make his dreams come true as a dancer.

Set in a small town in the UK, it follows Billy as he is urged by his family and friends to take up boxing. He gives it a shot, but it compelled to follow his love of dance and enrolls in a ballet class. The plot follows Billy through heartache to eventual fulfillment.

At Gammage Auditorium in Tempe, there’s a group of Billy Elliots, one of them is a 14-year-old from Australia whom we met on “Good Morning! Arizona.” His name is Daniel Russell.

There are also a group of youngsters with the production who play Michael, Billy’s best friend. We also met one of the Michaels, Griffin Birney, 10, from Connecticut.

Both Daniel and Griffin said the story line of Billy Elliot is one they are familiar with in real life.

“Throughout my life it’s been harder to be a boy to dance than it would be if I were a girl,” Daniel said. “It’s not really accepted in the community yet.”

“When I was younger, I thought it was really cool to dance around! I get to tap in this [production],” Griffin said. “I have been dancing for about six years now.”

Winner of 10 Tony Awards, including best musical, the show features music by Elton John.

You can catch “Billy Elliot” at Gammage Auditorium now through May 8. Tickets range from $25 to $100. For more information, visit www.asugammage.com.