Final Broadway Performance of Billy Elliot Featured a Slew of Billys
By Andrew Gans
Wondering which Billy Elliot played the final performance of the Tony-winning musical Jan. 8 at the Imperial Theatre?
The answer: all four.
According to a spokesperson for the 2009 Tony Award-winning Best Musical, Billy Elliot the Musical, all four young actors who currently rotate in the role — Tade Biesinger, Julian Elia, Joseph Harrington and Peter Mazurowski — were part of the final performance.
Each of the four actors played a section of the musical, which concerns a young, motherless, impoverished boy, who discovers his gift for dancing. The four actors also took their curtain call together, and then they were joined by the original three Tony-winning Billy Elliots (David Alvarez, Trent Kowalik, Kiril Kulish) as well as several other past Broadway Billys.
The final performance also allowed both current actors playing the role of Michael — Jack Broderick and Cameron Clifford — to rotate in that role. The "tall boys" and "small boys" also rotated, according to the show spokesperson.
Upon closing, the production played 40 previews and 1,304 regular performances. (Next up at the Imperial is the new musical comedy Nice Work If You Can Get It, with a score culled from the catalog of songs by George and Ira Gershwin, beginning March 29.)
Featuring music by Elton John, book and lyrics by Lee Hall, choreography by Peter Darling and direction by Stephen Daldry, Billy Elliot began Broadway previews Oct. 1, 2008, and opened to critical acclaim on Nov. 13. The production recouped its $18 million investment in only 14 months.
"After three unforgettable years, we are announcing the final performance of Billy Elliot the Musical on Broadway," producer Eric Fellner said in a October 2011 statement. "To see this story of a small boy from a small town in the North East of England achieve such enormous success and receive such an incredible response from the musical theatre capital of the world has been hugely rewarding. I join my fellow producers in expressing our gratitude to every member of the creative team and the Broadway company for their hard work and dedication to this show. Sadly, all great things come to an end and we look forward to working on Broadway again soon."
"I've said it before and it remains true today, Billy Elliot has been one of the most rewarding experiences of my entire life — seeing this show produced on Broadway is a dream fulfilled,"composer Elton John added. "I'm so proud of the brilliant young performers who have mastered the role of Billy on Broadway — their commitment and sheer talent has been the backbone of this production."
Billy Elliot the Musical was the winner of ten 2009 Tony Awards, including Best Musical; Best Book of a Musical (Lee Hall); Best Performance by a Leading Actor in a Musical (David Alvarez, Trent Kowalik, Kiril Kulish); Best Performance by a Featured Actor in a Musical (Gregory Jbara); Best Direction of a Musical (Stephen Daldry); Best Choreography (Peter Darling); Best Orchestrations (Martin Koch); Best Scenic Design of a Musical (Ian MacNeil); Best Lighting Design of a Musical (Rick Fisher); Best Sound Design of a Musical (Paul Arditti).
Billy Elliot the Musical, press notes state, "is the joyous celebration of one boy’s journey to make his dreams come true. Set in a small town, the story follows Billy as he stumbles out of the boxing ring and into a ballet class, discovering a surprising talent that inspires his family and his whole community and changes his life forever."
The final Broadway cast also starred Emily Skinner (Mrs. Wilkinson), Daniel Jenkins (Dad), Katherine McGrath (Grandma) and Patrick Mulvey (Tony).
The production featured scenic design by Ian MacNeil, associate direction by Julian Webber, costume design by Nicky Gillibrand, lighting design by Rick Fisher and sound design by Paul Arditti. Musical supervision and orchestrations are by Martin Koch.
For more information visit www.BillyElliotBroadway.com.
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