The New York Post reports that the musical, which features a score by Elton John, will play the Imperial Theatre, the recent home of Dirty Rotten Scoundrels and the upcoming home of High Fidelity. The latter, which was penned by Tom Kitt, Amanda Green and David Lindsay-Abaire, is scheduled to begin previews at the Imperial Nov. 20 with an official opening Dec. 7. Should Fidelity prove a hit, the Post says the show will need to move theatres in 2008 to make way for Billy.
Billy's Broadway debut is being delayed so the show's creators — including composer John, librettist Lee Hall and director Stephen Daldry — can fine-tune the piece and make some aspects of the story — including details about the U.K.'s miners' union — more accessible to American audiences.
Producer Eric Fellner told the New York daily, "Stephen [Daldry] decided that if we're going to take the show to Broadway and other places, we really want it to be as strong as possible. He felt he could do better. Lee and Elton felt they could do better . . . . 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."
Set in England's North East against the background of the miners' strike, Billy Elliot is about a working-class boy's dream of becoming a ballet dancer.
Daldry's production won Best New Musical at the 2006 Olivier Awards. Peter Darling picked up the Best Theatre Choreographer Award, while the Best Actor in a Musical Award was shared by James Lomas, George Maguire and Liam Mower, who rotated in the title role. For more information visit www.billyelliotthemusical.com.