Broadway Rewind: BILLY ELLIOT Pirouettes to Broadway in 2008!
As Broadway braces for a month of darkness, BroadwayWorld wants to make sure that you still get your theatre fix each and every day until April 13. In our daily series Broadway Rewind, we're uncovering footage from the depths of our archives so that you can relive magical moments of Broadway past!
Billy Elliot made a huge splash in London in 2005 before it crossed the Atlantic. The Broadway production opened at the Imperial Theatre on November 13, 2008, where it remained for over three years and 1312 performances. The show made Tony winners of its three pint-sized leading men (David Álvarez, Trent Kowalik and Kiril Kulish) and picked up nine other Tonys that season. The production also notabley starred Haydn Gwynne, Gregory Jbara, Carole Shelley, and a young, future Tony-winner, Santino Fontana.
The musical went on to have successful runs all around the world, in Chicago, Toronto, Australia, Spain, South Korea, and Norway, just to name a few.
"This episode of Broadway Beat brought back so many great memories," says BroadwayWorld's Richard Ridge. "It kicks off with a country-wide audition of hundreds of hopefuls to see who would take on the coveted role of Billy. Elton John and the producers then took over The Performing Arts High School to introduce the press to the three boys who would take on the demanding role. Elton wowed the crowd with the beautiful number "Electricity," which he wrote with Lee Hall, and the three Billy's closed out the event by dazzling everyone with one of the show stopping dance sequences, choreographed by Peter Darling. Director Stephen Daldry said about discovering the Billy's, 'It's incredibly moving. You're asking these kids to do something so hard, that's never been done before. It's a struggle for the child to get to be in the show. Then to achieve the show night after night... it's a mountain that the child has to climb, and you feel it.'"
"We then take you to a rehearsal and meet the stunning cast, then it's on to the exciting opening night party, where we caught up with Elton John himself who commented, 'It's probably been the most joyous experience of my career and I've have had an incredible career of so many highs... It's been an amazing ride.'"
Watch the full episode below!