BILLY ELLIOT To Launch National Tour In Chicago At The Ford Center for the Performing Arts, Oriental Theatre In March 2010

BILLY ELLIOT To Launch National Tour In Chicago At The Ford Center for the Performing Arts, Oriental Theatre In March 2010

Universal Pictures Stage Productions, Working Title Films and Old Vic Productions in association with Weinstein Live Entertainment announced today that the 2009 Tony Award-winning Best Musical Billy Elliot the Musical, featuring music by Elton John, book and lyrics by Lee Hall, choreography by Peter Darling and direction by Stephen Daldry, will launch a U.S. national tour with an extended run in Chicago in the spring of 2010 before embarking on a multi-city tour.

Performances will begin March 2010 at the Ford Center for the Performing Arts, Oriental Theatre (24 West Randolph, Chicago). Additional cities, dates and casting will be announced at a later date.

"On behalf of my fellow producers and the entire production team, I am delighted to confirm that the national tour for Billy Elliot the Musical will begin in Chicago in the spring of 2010. The three and a half year run of Wicked paved the way for us to consider Chicago for an extended production. We could not have asked for a warmer or more welcoming reception than that which we've received on Broadway, however in our short time in Chicago we feel we've found Billy Elliot a perfect new home," said Eric Fellner, a producer of the show.

"Chicago has always been one of my favorite cities to play," composer Elton John said. "And it is my distinct pleasure to share this show that I love so much with a city that has always been very kind to me."

Tickets are currently on sale to groups of 20 or more by calling Broadway In Chicago Group Sales at (312) 977-1710. The Broadway In Chicago 2010 spring/summer Subscription Series including Billy Elliot the Musical will go on sale in September 2009. Single tickets will go on sale to the general public in November 2009, and range in price from $28-$100.

A limited number of premium seats will also be available. For more information, you can visit www.BroadwayInChicago.com.

Billy Elliot the Musical opened on Broadway at the Imperial Theatre 240 West 45th Street) on November 13, 2008 to critical acclaim. Billy Elliot was the winner of ten 2009 Tony Awards including:

Best Musical

Best Book of a Musical (Lee Hall)

Best Performance by a Leading Actor in a Musical

(David Alvarez, Trent Kowalik, Kiril Kulish)

Best Performance by a Featured Actor in a Musical (Gregory Jbara)

Best Direction of a Musical (Stephen Daldry)

Best Choreography (Peter Darling)

Best Orchestrations (Martin Koch)

Best Scenic Design of a Musical (Ian MacNeil)

Best Lighting Design of a Musical (Rick Fisher)

Best Sound Design of a Musical (Paul Arditti)

The production was the recipient of a total of 35 awards including being named Best Musical by the New York Drama Critics Circle, Drama Desk, Drama League and Outer Critics Circle.

Billy Elliot the Musical is the funny, heartwarming tale of a young boy with a dream, and a celebration of his triumph against the odds. Set against the historic British miners' strike of the 1980s, the story follows Billy's journey as a boy in a small mining town who, after stumbling across a ballet class while on his way to a boxing lesson, realizes that his future lay not in the boxing ring but on stage as a dancer.

Billy Elliot the Musical is produced by Tim Bevan, Eric Fellner, Jon Finn and Sally Greene. Angela Morrison and David Furnish are Executive Producers. The production features scenic design by Ian MacNeil, costume design by Nicky Gillibrand, lighting design by Rick Fisher and sound design by Paul Arditti. Musical supervision and orchestrations are by Martin Koch.

Universal Pictures STAGE PRODUCTIONS is the theatrical production unit of the world-famous motion picture studio. Universal's stage credits include the acclaimed worldwide productions of Wicked and Billy Elliot the Musical and licensed productions including Cry-Baby and Xanadu. Universal Pictures' upcoming films include It's Complicated, a comedy starring Meryl Streep, Steve Martin and Alec Baldwin; The Wolfman, a reimagining of the Universal classic film starring Benicio Del Toro, Anthony Hopkins and Emily Blunt; and Despicable Me, a 3D CGI-animated feature starring Steve Carell.

Working Title FILMS has been co-chaired by Tim Bevan and Eric Fellner since 1992. Between them, the pair has produced over 90 feature films which have amassed more than $4.5 billion at the box office worldwide. To date, their films have won 6 Academy Awards, 26 BAFTA Awards and won prestigious prizes at the Cannes and Berlin film festivals. The company's commercial and critical hits include Frost Nixon; Burn After Reading; State of Play; Atonement; Hot Fuzz; Pride & Prejudice; MR. Bean's Holiday; About a Boy; Notting Hill; Elizabeth; Fargo; Dead Man Walking; High Fidelity; Johnny English; Billy Elliot; Four Weddings and a Funeral; Bridget Jones's Diary; Bridget Jones: The Edge of Reason; O Brother Where Art Thou?; Love Actually; Shaun Of The Dead; Nanny McPhee; and United 93. Forthcoming releases include The Green Zone, directed by Paul Greengrass and starring Matt Damon, Greg Kinnear and Amy Ryan; Paul directed by Greg Mottola and written by and starring Simon Pegg and Nick Frost; Nanny McPhee and the Big Bang directed by SusAnna White and written by and starring Emma Thompson, alongside Maggie Gyllenhaal, Maggie Smith, and Ralph Fiennes.

Old Vic Productions is a producer of Billy Elliot the Musical worldwide, including productions in London, on Broadway and recently in Sydney and Melbourne. Created by Sally Greene, and run by Sally and executive producer Joseph Smith, OVP has co-produced or partnered in more than 70 productions in the West End and on Broadway, winning numerous awards. Productions include Taking Sides; Cyrano de Bergerac; The Reduced Shakespeare Company; The Vagina Monologues (London); The Weir; Car Man; Medea; Life (x) 3; Benefactors; Elaine Stritch: At Liberty; Macbeth; Sexual Perversity in Chicago and Hamlet. OVP is a major partner in Kevin Spacey's first five seasons of The Old Vic Theatre Company and continues to have a creative and commercial association with The company most recently with the hit revival of Speed the Plow starring Kevin Spacey and Jeff Goldblum and the groundbreaking production of The Norman Conquests presented in the round. Sally Greene is chief executive of London's Old Vic Theatre, the Criterion Theatre and Greene Light Films. She also owns two London restaurants: the award-winning Cheyne Walk Brasserie and the Waterloo Brasserie. She is proprietor of the world famous jazz club Ronnie Scott's.

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