Billy Elliot Tour

THEATRICAL100
Featured Actor
joined:9/12/10
Billy Elliot Tour
Posted: 5/1/12 at 09:47pm
So is the tour non-equity now or what? Quite honestly, I don't understand what happened with having 3 US productions and then now all we have is one touring production that's doing split weeks and apparently is not drawing too many...?
Marla: I have to go sing about a life I never led.
CockeyedOptimist2
Broadway Legend
joined:1/10/10
Billy Elliot Tour
Posted: 5/1/12 at 10:38pm
It is an Equity tour. Many of the cast members came either from the 2nd National Tour or the Chicago/Toronto productions. They aren't doing split-weeks. Mostly 2 week engagements in major markets (opened in St. Louis in November) and they are currently playing a 5 or 6 weeks in LA at the Pantages. It's actually quite a good production and in my opinion the cast tops the one that closed the show on Broadway. I would highly recommend it.
TheatreDiva90016
Broadway Legend
joined:4/10/04
Billy Elliot Tour
Posted: 5/7/12 at 01:37pm
Just saw it last night and loved it.
"TheatreDiva90016 - another good reason to frequent these boards less."<<>> “I hesitate to give this line of discussion the validation it so desperately craves by perpetuating it, but the light from logic is getting further and further away with your every successive post.” <<>> -whatever2
BrodyFosse123
Broadway Legend
joined:2/27/06
Billy Elliot Tour
Posted: 5/7/12 at 02:17pm
Well, its only playing 2 nights at the Ruth Eckerd Hall in Clearwater, FL: January 29 & 30, 2013.

Equity, huh?
So what does that make you, Brody? A zero-trick pony? - Wanna Be A Foster .........................The only power brody wields is in his own mind, joe. But it's amusing to watch him pretend nonetheless. - tazber
dontevenstart
Swing
joined:4/19/10
Billy Elliot Tour
Posted: 5/7/12 at 04:51pm
It's most definitely an Equity tour. They tiered down from a full production contract to a SETA (Short Engagement Touring Agreement) Contract, which allows for Equity split-weeks. Mamma Mia is still equity and is having one nighters.

The tour was taken over by Networks last fall, which is largely a Non-Equity producer. But they are also known for getting Equity tours that are looking to save money (i.e. Mamma Mia, South Pacific 1st National, Mary Poppins, etc).

And as far as what happened to having 3 companies to 1. Apparently, due to the success on Broadway, producers thought they would crank out two tours as fast as possible, in order to make more money. In most cases, you'd send out a 1st national tour and see that it's wildly successful and selling out, so you plan and send out a 2nd national tour. But they were already in the process of making the 2nd national happen when they realized the show just wasn't selling as well as anticipated. So they closed the first national, tiered down the 2nd national and sent it back out, paying the actors almost half of what they were making and cutting sit-downs from 2-4 weeks to 1 and 2 week-ers and the occasional split weeks.
Updated On: 5/7/12 at 04:51 PM
AEA AGMA SM
Broadway Legend
joined:8/13/09
Billy Elliot Tour
Posted: 5/7/12 at 08:37pm
"cutting sit-downs from 2-4 weeks to 1 and 2 week-ers and the occasional split weeks"

Though, to be fair, it is not the producers who necessarily wanted to do shorter engagements, it was the local presenters who did not want to book the show for longer stretches. A longer engagement is going to always work out in favor of a producer, as load in/load out costs are then reduced, as are transportation costs. It costs them a whole lot more to move the show to multiple theaters in one week than it does to have the show sitting in one space for the same amount of time.
Did you know that every day Mexican gays cross our borders and unplug our brain-dead ladies?
DAME
Broadway Legend
joined:4/15/04
Billy Elliot Tour
Posted: 5/7/12 at 08:58pm
I don't know about the technicalities.. but to me the current production is superior to the 1st national I saw in Chicago .
HUSSY POWER! ------ HUSSY POWER!
JohnyBroadway
Broadway Star
joined:4/10/12
Billy Elliot Tour
Posted: 5/8/12 at 12:47am
With a SETA contract, does the orchestra get reduced? I saw the Tour just a few months before it switched contracts. I thought they were perfection. I see Poppins has done the same thing too. I could never picture the two going non-equ.
broadwayguy2
Broadway Legend
joined:5/18/03
Billy Elliot Tour
Posted: 5/8/12 at 01:18am
AEA contract status has nothing directly to do with the orchestra size.

Though, two examples to buck the stereotype that you are thinking of --
1.) Memphis - the show is out on a SETA contract, playing mostly one week stops. The cast is a few people smaller than the NYC version, but the band is the same size as the Broadway production (comparing my tour and NYC Playbills) and they travel the full band with the show and do not take it locals.
2.) Mamma Mia! The first national tour (which predated the Broadway production) toured with a core group of musicians and pulled in locals in each city, but the 2nd national tour, which had a slightly reduced physical production, toured with the entire 9 piece band in tact, continued to do so after the physical production was further reduced and now this tour, which is for all purposes the 3rd national tour, has a cast on the SETA contract and still tours with the full 9 piece pit..


For what it's worth, as much as people knock the SETA contract, I've become increasingly familiar with the contract recently and it actually isn't so shabby. Not at all. There were quite a few points that causes me to raise an eyebrow, rather impressed at how well the actors can be treated. The only change I would say, from observation, that it NEEDS to make is the requirement of an advance Stage Management team to oversee load-ins...
bwayphreak234
Broadway Legend
joined:7/4/10
Billy Elliot Tour
Posted: 5/8/12 at 01:40am
Some cities just do better with one week runs. They can pack the house to near capacity for a Tues-Sun run, but when an extra week is tacked on, the numbers stay pretty similar to a one week run, but with audience stretched across two weeks. In other words, lots of empty seats. This is true of the theatre I work at anyways. Shows like Wicked and Lion King are obviously exceptions, but shows like Movin' Out, Billy Elliot, Jersey Boys, and The Color Purple have never fared well with the 2-3 week runs.
"There’s nothing quite like the power and the passion of Broadway music. "
Fosse76
Broadway Legend
joined:3/21/05
Billy Elliot Tour
Posted: 5/8/12 at 10:12am
They established two tours becuse the company in Chicago was expected to sit-down for at least a year, and they wanted a tour on the road. Billy Elliot isn't a known property, and isn't exactly family-friendly, so it's not surprising that it didn't do well on the road.
staunchcharacter
Stand-by
joined:11/25/10
Billy Elliot Tour
Posted: 6/16/12 at 07:21am
So does this mean the current tour would be considered the third national tour? Or is it still considered the 2nd national tour?
CockeyedOptimist2
Broadway Legend
joined:1/10/10
Billy Elliot Tour
Posted: 6/16/12 at 10:31am
Strangely, they call it tour 2.5. It's still playing many of the engagements that the 2nd national had booked.
JamesBroadwayWiner
Stand-by
joined:10/10/11
Billy Elliot Tour
Posted: 6/16/12 at 02:29pm
It is equity I believe, but regardless, it is a spectacular production and you shouldn't miss it for the world!!!!
"Breavity is the soul of wit"--Hamlet
bwayphreak234
Broadway Legend
joined:7/4/10
Billy Elliot Tour
Posted: 6/16/12 at 03:11pm
LOVED the touring production. I saw it three times. It can never top the Broadway production for me, but it is a fantastic touring production.
"There’s nothing quite like the power and the passion of Broadway music. "
ActingDude172
Chorus Member
joined:3/22/09
Billy Elliot Tour
Posted: 6/16/12 at 03:22pm
The tour is a wonderful production that made me fall in love with the show. Yes, Billy's bedroom halved in height, the "Expressing Yourself" dresses are different, and set changes are done manually by the actors, but it's still the same amazing show. In fact, many of the main cast from the old tour carried over when it reopened in St. Louis.
Updated On: 6/16/12 at 03:22 PM
Outoftowner2
Stand-by
joined:1/8/12
Billy Elliot Tour
Posted: 6/16/12 at 07:27pm
See it any time anywhere you can.
kadu335
Stand-by
joined:5/3/09
Billy Elliot Tour
Posted: 8/18/13 at 11:18am
The tour is coming to an end today here in Brazil. I'm glad I had the chance to see it again (after seeing the show twice on Broadway). It is such a great production!

Here's a couple of great videos from the press event they did 3 weeks ago to promote the show here in Sao Paulo:

'Shine' : http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rcp5x2oKSJI

'Expressing Yourself' : http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5RAfQI5nj6s

Art washes away from the soul the dust of everyday life.
Minadnan
Understudy
joined:8/6/13
Billy Elliot Tour
Posted: 8/18/13 at 08:18pm
The problem was that it did not get the touring reviews that it wanted esp in Canada and the Broadway version closed so it lost momentum . I think they expected schools to see it. Please correct me if I am wrong. Also can someone tell me why it did close ? But I saw it on Broadway and it was fab but no where as good as Matilda.
dramamama611
Broadway Legend
joined:12/4/07
Billy Elliot Tour
Posted: 8/18/13 at 09:04pm
It closed for the same reason nearly every show closes: it wasn't making enough money. Pure and simple.

While I did't think it was fabulous, I am suprised it didn't last longer.
If we're not having fun, then why are we doing it? These are DISCUSSION boards, not mutual admiration boards. Discussion only occurs when we are willing to hear what others are thinking, regardless of whether it is alignment to our own thoughts.
bdn223
Broadway Star
joined:6/14/08
Billy Elliot Tour
Posted: 8/18/13 at 09:43pm
The show also had a huge problem budget wise. Unlike Matilda, the role of Billy is so physically demanding it requiresat least 2-3 actors to cover the role. The fact that Billy is also supposed to be basically hitting the beginnings of puberty cause actors playing Billy to have a very limited shelf life. It cost producers a fortune to just find children capable of possibly playing the role, then spending more money on months of training to get boys to be able to play the part.

The show also had a huge cast, large sets, and ornate costumes.

It supposidly had a running cost of over $800,000, which increased as time went on. When the Times did their puff piece on how Matilda's producers were handling the transfer, it discussed on how Matilda's producers had learned from the mistakes and problems of Billy Elliot's transfer.
broadwayguy2
Broadway Legend
joined:5/18/03
Billy Elliot Tour
Posted: 8/19/13 at 12:45am
Matilda learned very little.. but they continue to improve that.
Matilda has ZERO need to have four girls rotating in the title roles and there what? Roughly 2.5 children's ensembles in the show?
They added the show curtain because calling the crew in early enough to set the stage before fight and dance calls was costing too much money. With no curtain, the calls had to be complete before the house could open, so the crew was there VERY early...

Part of Billy's running costs, not addressed much here, was the Billy School that the boys had to attend before beginning the show.