Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Billy Elliot to Launch US Tour in Chicago

Chicago’s arts and entertainment journalists got invited today to an unusual venue for a theater-related press conference. Ahead of Elton John’s second Wrigley Field show with Billy Joel this evening, Broadway in Chicago assembled us in a Wrigley VIP suite for the announcement that Billy Elliot, the dance musical with a score by Sir Elton and based on the 2000 British film, would launch its U.S. national tour here next March.

The story of a boy who wants to dance, set against a miners’ strike in Thatcher-era northern England, is deeply British, but Sir Elton is confident it’ll play to midwesterners as well as it has in London, Australia and New York. “It’s very rooted in the miners’ struggle,” he said, but “the story itself is a classic story of success, of beating the odds.” John spoke of his love for Chicago, saying he got sober here 19 years ago. “I also have happy memories of doing Aida here, which was at the [Cadillac] Palace” in its 1999 pre-Broadway run, directed by Robert Falls. “That was a huge success for me.”

Performances will begin March 2010 at the Ford Center for the Performing Arts, Oriental Theatre (24 West Randolph, Chicago). Additional cities, dates and casting will be announced at a later date.

"Chicago has always been one of my favorite cities to play," composer Elton John said. "And it is my distinct pleasure to share this show that I love so much with a city that has always been very kind to me."

- Broadway World

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