Mirvish Productions Presents Canadian Premiere of BILLY ELLIOT; Set to Open Feb. 2011
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 be presented in Toronto as part of the 2010/2011 Mirvish Subscription Season.
Performances will begin in February 2011. Exact performance dates, venue and casting will be announced at a later date.
Says Toronto impresario David Mirvish: "From the moment I and members of my staff saw Billy Elliot the Musical in its very first London previews, we knew this was a show destined to join the ranks of the best stage musicals ever created. We saw the show again after it had its official London opening and our initial reactions were reconfirmed - in fact, our love of the show grew exponentially. We knew we had to have this immensely impressive work in Toronto.
"Immediately we connected with the show's producers and creative team and together we worked on various scenarios to bring the show to Canada. As you can imagine, Billy Elliot, with its multi-talented cast and intricately crafted storytelling, music and dancing, is a massive undertaking that has to be handled very carefully. So it is with great pleasure and excitement that we are announcing Billy Elliot will finally be coming to Toronto. We can hardly wait for February 2011 to have the show on one of our stages."
Eric Fellner, a producer of the show, comments: "On behalf of my fellow producers and the entire production team, I am delighted to confirm that Billy Elliot the Musical will come to Toronto in February 2011. When the film opened in 2000, we were elated by the response it received in Canada, especially in Toronto. Canada has also been a tremendous source of talent for the stage production, already having given us three Billys and a Mrs. Wilkinson. We have been looking forward to bringing the show to Toronto since Billy Elliot opened in London five years ago and are thrilled that it is now a reality."
ABOUT THE SHOW
Billy Elliot the Musical is the joyous celebration of one boy's journey to make his dreams come true. Set in a small town, the story follows Billy as he stumbles out of the boxing ring and into a ballet class, discovering a passion that takes him by surprise, and takes his whole family on an incredibly uplifting adventure.
BACKGROUND TO THE PRODUCTION
Billy Elliot the Musical, based on the beloved 2000 film, which garnered three Academy Award nominations and three BAFTA awards, opened at London's Victoria Palace in May 2005 to unanimous critical acclaim. The Mail on Sunday wrote, "Truly electrifying...this heart-stopping show is a must-see." The Sunday Express raved, "Pure magic." And The Daily Telegraph proclaimed it simply, "The greatest British musical I have ever seen." The production went on to sweep London's nine awards for Best Musical, including the Olivier, Evening Standard and Critics' Circle Theatre Awards. It celebrates its anniversary in May 2010.
Billy Elliot the Musical next opened to equal acclaim at the Capitol Theatre in Sydney, Australia in December 2007. The Australian wrote, "Billy Elliot should come with a warning: abandon cynicism all ye who enter. Open your heart, get out the tissues and surrender." The Sydney Morning Herald raved, "Joyously entertaining, Billy Elliot bursts into starry-eyed showbiz magic ... A rapturous pinnacle of self-expression and fulfillment." The Sunday Telegraph called it, "Bloody brilliant! Funny, exuberantly rude and heartbreakingly moving." The production transferred to Melbourne's Her Majesty's Theatre on December 31, 2008 where it was met with equally acclaim. The Australian production was honoured with 12 theatre awards, including Best Musical (Helpmann Awards, Sydney, and Green Room Awards, Melbourne).
Billy Elliot the Musical opened on Broadway at the Imperial Theatre 240 West 45th Street) on November 13, 2008 to extraordinary 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) and Best Sound Design of a Musical (Paul Arditti)
The Broadway production is 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.
Globally, Billy Elliot the Musical has now played to over 4 million people, with a number of new productions in the works. Two North American touring productions will begin in 2010, the first launching at Chicago's Ford Center for the Performing Arts on March 18, 2010, and the second slated to begin in November 2010. New international productions are scheduled for Korea (August 2010), Japan (Summer 2011) and productions are in the works for Germany and Holland.
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.
Billy Elliot the Musical will be the lead title in the 2010/2011 Mirvish Subscription Season. The remainder of the season line-up will be announced soon. Group tickets to Billy Elliot the Musical are now available by calling 416-593-4142 or 1-800-724-6420. Single tickets to Billy Elliot the Musical will go on sale to the general public in September 2010. For more information about subscription and group tickets, you can visit www.mirvish.com
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 next year's Bring It On: The Musical, and licensed productions including Cry-Baby and Xanadu. Universal's upcoming films include the epic adventure Robin Hood, starring Russell Crowe and Cate Blanchett; Despicable Me, a 3D CGI-animated comedy starring Steve Carell; director Edgar Wright's comedy adventure Scott Pilgrim Vs. The World; and the third installment of the Meet The Parents franchise, Little Fockers.
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 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 three 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.
Photo of David Alvarez, Haydn Gwynne, Original Broadway Cast. Photo credit: David Scheinmann.