Thursday, November 13, 2008

Billy Elliot Ready To Shine On Opening Night

Billy Elliot Ready To Shine On Opening Night

This evening, after 40 preview performances, what is arguably the Broadway Season's most anticipated new tuner finally opens at the Imperial Theatre. Based on the 2000 film, Billy Elliot The Musical lands on the Great White Way after packing them in across the pond in London for over three years, along with another year of success Down Under.

If the musical seems true to the original movie, it's because of the artistry behind it. Not only does Academy Award nominated director Stephen Daldry recreate the electricity on stage, but the film's Oscar nominated screenwriter Lee Hall has also written the tuner's book, as well as the lyrics that accompany the music written by Sir Elton John.

Actress Haydn Gwynne is the only transfer from the original West End production. She will recreate the role of Billy's dance teacher Mrs. Wilkinson. Three young actors will alternate as the eponymous character: David Alvarez this evening, and then Trent Kowalik and Kiril Kulish on successive nights. Likewise, the role of Billy's young friend Michael will alternate between David Bologna and Frank Dolce.

Other cast members include Broadway veterans Gregory Jbara as Billy's Dad and Carole Shelley as Grandma, along with Santino Fontana as Billy's brother Tony.

Personally, I have not yet purchased my tickets for the Broadway incarnation having already seen both the original London production three years ago this month and the Australian production in Sydney just over three months ago. But you can bet that I'll be providing my critics' capsule of all the major reviews tomorrow.

This is Steve On Broadway (SOB).

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