Billy Elliot: The Musical to play at the Imperial Theatre in the fall of 2008


The New York Post has reported that the British hit Billy Elliot: The Musical, music by Elton John, with book & lyrics by Lee Hall, will open on Broadway in the Fall of 2008 at the Imperial Theatre.

Billy Elliot: The Musical is the story of a boy from a humble Tyneside background, whose mother is dead, and whose father and brother are caught up in the bitterly fought community-splitting miner's strike of 1984. Billy's father wants his son to learn to box, like him and his father before him. But instead Billy becomes fascinated by the grace and magic of ballet.

The musical is about Billy's gritty and determined struggle, at first in secret, but then with the wholehearted backing of his family, to dance his way to the brightest of futures by winning a place at the Royal Ballet School.

Billy Elliot: The Musical is being adapted for the American audiance to make the story, which is set during the bitterly contested British Miner's strike (1984-1985), more accessible to the American Audiance.

Producer Eric Fellner told the New York daily, "Stephen Daldry decided that if we're going to take the show to Broadway and other places, we really want it to be as strong as possible. ... It is quite daunting, taking this quintessentially British show to Broadway. We are not altering the location or the character of the piece. We just want to make sure the Britishness travels."

The musical had its world premiere at London's Victoria Palace when it opened on 11 May 2005. The musical opened to terrific notices from the popular press: The Guardian said, "Billy Elliot succeeds brilliantly because Elton John's music and, especially, Peter Darling's choreography enhance Lee Hall's cinematic concept." The Daily Telegraph wrote, "Billy Elliot strikes me as the greatest British musical I have ever seen." The Financial Times printed, "Elton John's music is too often formulaic but about half of this show achieves dramatic poetry of a kind rare in any kind of theatre and The Independent said, "Funny, touching and shamelessly enjoyable staging."

It is directed by Stephen Daldry, designed by Ian MacNeil, lighting by Rick Fisher, costumes by Nicky Gillibrand, choreography by Peter Darling, sound by Paul Arditti.

The Musical won three 2006 Olivier Awards: Best New Musical Award, Best Theatre Choreographer Award (Peter Darling) and Best Actor in a Musical Award (shared by child actors James Lomas, George Maguire and Liam Mower, who rotated the role of Billy Elliot.)

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