BILLY ELLIOT Earns Cheers on Broadway Opening Night
Last night in New York, Thursday 13 November, Stephen Daldry's production of Billy Elliot The Musical opened on Broadway at the Imperial Theatre to rave reviews. Haydn Gwynne, who created the role on stage in London of Billy Elliot's dance teacher Mrs Wilkinson, made her Broadway debut and playing the title role of Billy Elliot was 13 year old Trent Kowalik from New York.
Composer Elton John, writer and lyricist Lee Hall and director Stephen Daldry were joined at the opening by guests including Woody Allen, Laura Bailey, Mikhail Baryshnikov, Mayor Michael Bloomberg, Tim Bevan, Anthony Edwards, Eric Fellner, Joel Grey, Ron Howard, Billie Jean King, Jane Krakowski, Liam Neeson, Rosie O'Donnell, Paul Rudd, Ben Stiller, Kevin Spacey, Barbara Walters, Rachel Weisz and Anna Wintour.
The New York Times, Variety and the Associated Press all cheered the musical on calling it, "intoxicating", "big hearted" and "superlative".
Set in the North East, Billy Elliot the Musical is a funny, heart-warming and feel-good celebration of one young boy's dreams. Stephen Daldry's staging of Billy Elliot the Musical is adapted from of one of the most adored British films of the last decade which broke box office records across the world and was nominated for 3 Oscars and 13 BAFTA Awards.
Celebrating three years in the West End and it's 1,500 performance (Monday 17 November 2008), Billy Elliot the Musical has now played to over 2.5 million people world-wide since its world premiere at the Victoria Palace Theatre in May 2005. The Australian production premiered at Sydney's The Capitol Theatre last year and will end its year long run this month ahead of a transfer to Melbourne's Her Majesty's Theatre previewing from 13 December 2008, opening on 31 December 2009.
The score for Billy Elliot the Musical is composed by music legend Elton John, choreography is by Peter Darling, designs are by Ian MacNeil with sound by Paul Arditti and lighting by Rick Fisher. Billy Elliot the Musical is presented in London by Universal Pictures Stage Productions, Working Title Films and Old Vic Productions in association with Tiger Aspect. Billy Elliot the Musical is based on the Universal Pictures/Studio Canal film.
Alternating the title role of Billy Elliot are Montreal born 13 year old David Alvarez, 13 year old Trent Kowalik from New York and 14 year old Kiril Kulish from San Diego who join Broadway principal cast members Haydn Gwynne (Mrs Wilkinson), Gregory Jbara (Dad), Santino Fontana (Tony), Carole Shelley (Grandma), Joel Hatch (George), Thommie Retter (Mr Braithwaite), Leah Hocking (Dead Mum) and Stephen Hanna (Older Billy) for the Broadway premiere.
Photo Credit: Carol Rosegg