Wednesday, September 06, 2006

Billy Elliot Set for 2008 Broadway Bow?

Billy Elliot Set for 2008 Broadway Bow?

According to Michael Riedel in this morning's New York Post, Billy Elliot The Musical is almost officially Broadway-bound. Riedel states, "The finishing touches have just been put on a deal to bring the Elton John musical to the Imperial Theatre in the fall of 2008."

After having opened last year in London to widespread critical praise (including from The New York Times' Ben Brantley), Billy Elliot The Musical received the Olivier Award for Best Musical for 2006. I saw the show last November and ranked it among the top ten shows I saw during the 2005-06 Theatrical Season.

Despite all the enthusiasm including mine, the nagging question remains whether this decidedly British story -- complete with sometimes hard-to-understand English slang -- can be easily imported to Broadway (after so many trips to the UK, I personally didn't have too much difficulty understanding the accents, but I can certainly see how many discriminating American ears may not comprehend the dialogue quite as well). Riedel says the production team is polishing up the show, and he quotes producer Eric Fellner, who states bluntly, "It is quite daunting, taking this quintessentially British show to Broadway. We are not altering the location or the character of the piece. We just want to make sure the Britishness travels."

Speaking of travel, should the Imperial Theatre's next occupant -- High Fidelity -- soar, it will need to take flight to another theatre a little more than a year and a half into its run to make way for Billy Elliot.

This is Steve On Broadway (SOB).

Click here for tickets to Billy Elliot The Musical - London.
Related Stories:
High Fidelity Tunes In To High Capacity Imperial (August 24, 2006)
Remembrances of London’s 7/7 (July 7, 2006)
SOB's Best of 2005-06: #8 - Billy Elliot The Musical (Victoria Palace Theatre, London, UK) (May 18, 2006)
Billy Elliot in Triplicate on First Birthday (May 9, 2006)

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