Tony Winning BILLY ELLIOT Closes on Broadway Today
The 2009 Tony Award-winning Best Musical, Billy Elliot the Musical, will play its final performance on Broadway today at the Imperial Theatre (246 West 45th Street). The show that Time Magazine called "the best musical of the decade," Billy Elliot will have played 40 preview and 1,304 regular performances. The production recouped its $18 million investment in only 14 months over 492 performances and on Broadway, the show has been seen by 1,659,867 theatergoers to date. Featuring music by Elton John, book and lyrics by Lee Hall, choreographed by Peter Darling and directed by Stephen Daldry, Billy Elliot began previews Wednesday, October 1 and opened to critical acclaim on November 13, 2008.
"After three unforgettable years, we are announcing the final performance of Billy Elliot the Musical on Broadway," producer Eric Fellner said. "To see this story of a small boy from a small town in the North East of England achieve such enormous success and receive such an incredible response from the musical theatre capital of the world has been hugely rewarding. I join my fellow producers in expressing our gratitude to every member of the creative team and the Broadway company for their hard work and dedication to this show. Sadly, all great things come to an end and we look forward to working on Broadway again soon.""I've said it before and it remains true today, Billy Elliot has been one of the most rewarding experiences of my entire life - seeing this show produced on Broadway is a dream fulfilled," composer Elton John said. "I'm so proud of the brilliant young performers who have mastered the role of Billy on Broadway - their commitment and sheer talent has been the backbone of this production."On November 13, 2008, Billy Elliot the Musical opened on Broadway at the Imperial Theatre (246 West 45th Street) to extraordinary critical acclaim. Ben Brantley of the New York Times said that Billy Elliot "Sends audiences into a mass swoon!" Time Out called it "The most electric and passionate show in years." The Daily News said that Billy Elliot is "So exhilarating that you feel like leaping!" The New York Post said it is "The best show you will ever see!" Liz Smith called the show "Absolutely awesome," The New York Observer raved that Billy is "The best thing to happen to Broadway in a long while," and WOR's Dave Richardson cheered, "All I can say is WOW!" Billy Elliot the Musical 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 Broadway 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. Globally, Billy Elliot the Musical has played to 7.5 million people and has grossed $600,000,000. The triumphant show has been the recipient of 81 awards worldwide, including the Laurence Olivier Best Musical Award (London), the Helpmann Award for Best Musical (Australia), as well as multiple Dora Awards (Toronto) and Korea Musical Awards. Billy Elliot the Musical continues its incredibly successful run in London's West End where it is currently playing its seventh year. Billy Elliot also continues to play on tour across America and further international productions are planned. 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 surprising talent that inspires his family and his whole community and changes his life forever.
Based on the beloved 2000 film, which garnered three Academy Award nominations and three BAFTA awards, Billy Elliot the Musical, opened at London's Victoria Palace in May 2005 to unanimous critical acclaim and continues to play to sold out crowds nightly. 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.
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 honored with 12 theatre awards, including Best Musical (Helpmann Awards, Sydney, and Green Room Awards, Melbourne).
The Broadway production of Billy Elliot the Musical currently stars Emily Skinner (Mrs. Wilkinson), Daniel Jenkins (Dad), Katherine McGrath (Grandma), Patrick Mulvey (Tony), Jack Broderick and Cameron Clifford (Michael) and Giuseppe Bausilio, Tade Biesinger, Myles Erlick, Joseph Harrington, and Peter Mazurowski as ‘Billy.' The production features scenic design by Ian MacNeil, the associate director is Julian Webber, costume design by Nicky Gillibrand, lighting design by Rick Fisher and sound design by Paul Arditti. Musical supervision and orchestrations are by Martin Koch.
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